Source of Income Discrimination Discussion Continues

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In Tuesday’s Social Services and Public Safety (SSPS) Committee meeting, Councilmembers will continue discussion and likely vote on an ordinance banning Source of Income (SOI) Discrimination in Lexington.

  • What is source of income discrimination? The City of Lexington defines SOI discrimination as refusing to lease a housing unit to a tenant based on their lawful source of income, such as Section 8 vouchers, alimony payments, child support, or other third-party payments.

An SOI discrimination ban would not force landlords to lease a property to tenants with these sources of income; rather, landlords would need to consider all applicants equally regardless of how they would pay their rent.

You can read our previous summary of the issue here.

Language has been added to clarify that this ordinance would not supersede any state or federal law. There are two bills filed in the Kentucky State Legislature that would impact a local SOI discrimination ordinance.

  • House Bill 18, filed by Representative Ryan Dotson, who represents Clark County and part of Fayette County, would prevent local governments from enforcing SOI discrimination bans that prevent landlords from refusing to rent to tenants participating in a federal housing assistance program.

    • If this bill passed, Lexington would not be able to include federal assistance programs in its SOI discrimination ban, but could potentially enforce one dealing with sources of income such as child support, alimony, or other sources that are not federal assistance programs.

    • This bill has passed out of the State Government Committee and will be voted on soon by the full House of Representatives.

  • Senate Bill 25, filed by Senator Stephen West, who represents a handful of counties to the Northeast of Lexington in addition to part of Fayette County, would prevent local governments from forcing landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers.

    • Since Lexington’s proposed ordinance would not force landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers, it’s unclear if or how this bill would impact Lexington’s proposed ordinance if passed. You can read more about this bill from the Kentucky Lantern here.

    • This bill passed out of the State and Local Government Committee and will be voted on by the full Senate soon.

If this ordinance passes through the full Council, it would take effect on February 1st of this year. You can see this presentation and read the full ordinance starting on page four of this packet.

The Social Services and Public Safety Committee will meet on Tuesday, January 23rd at 1:00 pm in Council Chambers. You can attend in-person or watch live on LexTV.

Republished from CivicLex.

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