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Source of Income Discrimination Ban Goes into Effect April 6

By on April 4, 2023 0 169Views

On March 1, 2023, the Phoenix City Council amended Chapter 18 of the Phoenix City Code. The amendment adds “source of income” as a protected class to the City’s existing housing discrimination ordinance. The City Council approved the measure with the understanding that it would not be enforceable unless Attorney General Kris Mayes reconsidered her predecessor’s opinion that Tucson’s source of income ordinance violated state law. On March 8, 2023, Attorney General Mayes reversed the prior opinion, opening the way for the City of Phoenix to implement and begin enforcement of its new ordinance.

“Discrimination has no place in Phoenix, especially as we continue taking on the challenge of creating affordable housing options for our residents. The source of income ordinance we approved will help us move closer to our goal of housing more residents with an eye towards equity. I look forward to the positive impact it will have on thousands of Phoenicians,” said Mayor Kate Gallego.

“Come April 6, residents in Phoenix using governmental assistance will have a new and needed tool to advocate for their right to affordable and fair housing,” said Vice Mayor Yassamin Ansari. “The enforcement of our source of income discrimination ban will help residents find and keep their homes – ensuring that fewer residents end up in the grip of homelessness.”

The City will begin enforcing the amendment to Chapter 18 on April 6, 2023. The amendment is designed to address housing discrimination against persons who receive various kinds of sources of income including but not limited to: child support, spousal support, foster care subsidies, rental assistance, security deposit or down payment assistance, income derived from social security or disability insurance, veterans’ benefits, Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers, and other forms of governmental assistance.

“This change to the City of Phoenix code will positively impact thousands of residents,” said Councilwoman Debra Stark. “I believe everyone has the right to affordable housing without discrimination and this amendment to add source of income as a protected class is a major victory for the City and will create equitable opportunities for those seeking housing.”

“Attorney General Kris Mayes made the necessary decision to ensure that the residents of Tucson and Phoenix have access to affordable housing options. At the end of the day, the source of income ordinance represents basic, fundamental rights that everyone is entitled to,” said Councilwoman Laura Pastor.

“This is a crucial step in creating a fair and equitable housing market in Phoenix, and no one should be dictated on where they live,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio. “The source of income ordinance that was approved will ensure families have the opportunity to live in neighborhoods where they feel safe and have better school districts to raise their families.”

“It was necessary for City Council to approve this ordinance to protect people from housing discrimination. I am proud to have been part of this effort with my colleagues in City Council and want to recognize the dozens of community members that flooded the city council chambers multiple times asking for our leadership on this matter,” said Councilmember Carlos Garcia. “While the implementation of this ordinance will not solve the affordable housing crisis people are facing now, it solidifies the city’s responsibility to prevent housing inequality moving forward.”

The City of Phoenix is aware of the ongoing housing crisis and the struggles with finding affordable housing and is committed to addressing the housing shortage in Phoenix. Although this new ordinance provides the City of Phoenix’s Equal Opportunity Department with additional authority to protect City residents who face discrimination because of their source of income, it is designed to address a limited aspect of the current housing crisis – the barrier of housing discrimination that has adversely impacted many in the community.

If you believe you have been a victim of discrimination because of your source of income, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status, gender expression or gender identity, please contact the Equal Opportunity Department at (602) 262-7486 (7-1-1 Friendly) or visit phoenix.gov/eod.