Collective Impact Lincoln led the Coalition for Source of Income Protections in Housing in delivering over 520 signatures calling on the Lincoln City Council to pass source-of-income protections in local housing – a necessary step to prevent landlords from discriminating against prospective tenants.
Landlords can legally discriminate against tenants who would pay rent via disability, Social Security, rent assistance, or housing vouchers. Source-of-income protections make it illegal for landlords to refuse tenants based solely on their income to pay rent coming from one of these sources.
Legislation banning source-of-income discrimination has been passed in 23 states and 134 cities, but Nebraska has no such protections, neither at the state nor local levels.
During a Dec. 18 news conference before the City Council meeting, Kasey Ogle, Collective Impact Lincoln’s senior staff attorney, said source-of-income discrimination exacerbates Lincoln’s already-dire affordable housing situation and contributes to racial disparities within the city. Local housing voucher success rates are about 74%, meaning more than a fourth of voucher recipients are unsuccessful in finding housing that will accept vouchers.
“Rental assistance is a critical tool in helping low-income families establish stability and escape the cycle of poverty, but Lincoln offers no protection, allowing landlords to impose unfair conditions or refuse to rent to them solely based on how they would pay rent,” Ogle said. “Ending source-of-income discrimination will provide a minimum level of protection for those working hard to build a better life.”
The signature delivery and news conference were the kickoff events of the coalition’s Turned Away campaign, an effort to move the City Council to pass source-of-income protections in early 2024.