News and Tribune, Carson Gerber CNHI State Reporter
May 11, 2023
Sharon Norwood received a federal voucher to help pay for rent after she was evicted in 2020 from her home of 11 years.
She wanted to use the financial assistance to live in Evergreen Park, a Chicago suburb with good schools and safe streets for the six children she was raising.
The problem was no landlords in the neighborhood wanted her or her voucher.
“I’ve been dealing with a whole lot as a Black mother living here,” said Norwood, who today works as the housing justice organizer with the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance.
“They pretty much let you know that they really don’t want you here. But I’m not going anywhere.”
Norwood and her family did eventually find a place to stay in Evergreen Park, but only after she gave up her voucher and paid more money out of pocket to afford the rent.
For decades, residents like Norwood have faced landlords who deny them housing simply because the rent comes from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
But in January, apartment listings and landlords proclaiming voucher holders need not apply became illegal after a law banning income discrimination took effect.