Collaboratively Combating Source of Income Discrimination
We might think housing discrimination is an issue of the past with Fair Housing regulations in place, but Charlotte renters continue to face challenges.
Even under normal circumstances, income disparities serve as a barrier to finding housing in our city. With policies often requiring 3x the market rent and a plethora of other required up-front fees, many renters find their options limited. Income sources that cover only the cost of living for many Charlotte residents often disqualify them from renting with many local landlords.
Renters with consistent and reliable means of paying their monthly rent can legally be rejected based on the use of vouchers and alternative income methods. Veterans’ supportive housing vouchers, disability payments, child support payments, and student loans are just a few of the many types of income options that landlords widely deny for the purposes of renting a home. Section 8 housing vouchers are the most frequently rejected by landlords, and Charlotte is no exception.
According to Inlivian, formerly the Charlotte Housing Authority, one in five families that have qualified for housing vouchers do not find housing in time to use them. These practices are yet another barrier to local residents finding affordable housing, and a new proposal to the City of Charlotte is aimed at eliminating this source of discrimination.
Some of the most prominent affordable housing advocates in Charlotte have banded together to support a proposal banning landlords from discrimination based on source of income. With this provision, landlords would not be permitted to reject housing vouchers as a source of income, and they would not be able to put an applicant with housing vouchers on hold to await another potential resident with traditional income.
Freedom Communities has joined this collaborative effort to expand the definition of protected classes in Charlotte, and with our mission we ultimately seek to create more opportunities for members of the community facing landlord discrimination.