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Legislative Alert: CALL OR EMAIL YOUR SENATORS: SUPPORT SENATE BILL 243 THAT PROHIBITS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST TENANTS AND HOMEBUYERS BASED ON THEIR SOURCE OF INCOME

Discrimination based on source of income effectively bars many Marylanders who depend upon government benefits and other lawful sources of income from renting or purchasing a home. 

In Baltimore County, 25% of homeless veterans who have received special Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers cannot use them because they cannot find a housing provider who will accept the voucher.  There are long waiting lists for tenants with Section 8 housing vouchers, and disabled people with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are too often refused housing. Refusing to rent or sell something because of their “source of income” is thinly veiled race and class discrimination. 

Senate Bill 243 prohibits discrimination against persons seeking housing based on the source or type of income they have. It would protect individuals and families planning to rent or buy housing with income from disability payments; Veterans Administration benefits; Temporary Cash Assistance grants; pensions; alimony; child support; housing vouchers for veterans, housing vouchers for persons with disabilities, and other housing voucher programs; and other lawful sources of income.

The bill does NOT prohibit a landlord/seller from determining the ability of a potential renter or buyer to pay by any other lawful means such as: (1) verifying the source and amount of income of the renter or buyer; and (2) evaluating the stability, security, and creditworthiness of the renter or buyer or their source of income.  The bill does NOT prevent a landlord or seller from refusing to consider income derived from any criminal activity.

THE SENATE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE will consider the bill on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH.  
PLEASE TELL YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT SB 243 – CLICK HERE TO CONTACT MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE.

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