Expanded protections for families with Housing Choice Vouchers
By Brian Knudsen
With the rapid expansion of source of income discrimination laws across the U.S., PRRAC now
estimates that over 57 percent of households using Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) live in
states, counties, or local jurisdictions with Source of Income (SOI) anti-discrimination laws.
Most of these laws prohibit landlord discrimination against families that use federal vouchers to
assist in the payment of their rent. Research finds that SOI laws appear to increase voucher
utilization rates and permit moves to neighborhoods with lower poverty rates. The above
percentage includes all SOI laws effective as of September 2022, and as cataloged in PRRACs
Appendix B. At present, there are 17 states, 21 counties, and 85 cities with voucher nondiscrimination laws, as depicted in the map below.
Notably, the share of voucher families covered by these laws has climbed to its present level from a prior estimate of 34 percent in 2018, an increase of over 23 percentage points. Much of this growth can be traced to the recent enactment of state SOI laws (or the addition of protections to voucher holders to existing laws) in seven states: California (2019), Colorado (2021), Illinois (2022), Maryland (2020), New York (2019), Rhode Island (2021), and Virginia (2020). The map highlights these newly enacted state laws in red.
Data on vouchers in use come from the Department of Housing and Urban Development 2021
Picture of Subsidized Households. Our computation of the above percentage does not double-count voucher households in counties or cities with voucher non-discrimination laws that are in
the same state with a law. Nor do we double-count voucher families in cities with SOI laws that
are in counties with a law.