Source of Income

Became A Statewide Law on Jan. 1, 2023

In May 2022, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill which amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to ban discrimination in housing based on source of income, including income such as housing choice vouchers (HCVs), sometimes referred to as Section 8 vouchers. This change becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2023. Illinois REALTORS® has collected resources to help guide members and housing providers as they prepare for the Jan. 1, 2023, effective date for this protected class.

Source of Income Video Series

Join General Counsel Betsy Urbance and Legislative Attorney Matt Rentschler as they discuss the new Source of Income law.

Answers to Common Questions

It applies to most housing with a few exemptions, such as owner-occupied housing with four or fewer units or rental of a private room within a home where the owner or family resides.
Given that a housing choice voucher is a lawful source of income, the answer to this question is most likely yes. Discrimination based on participation in the housing choice voucher program would be prohibited under the IHRA.
Follow the regulation that is stricter. In other words, if the local ordinance contains fewer exemptions than the IHRA, follow the local ordinance. If the housing provider has a question, consult legal counsel.
The local public housing authority oversees the administration of the housing choice voucher program and should consider the market factors in the area to arrive at housing choice voucher amounts in their areas.
If a housing provider requires a threshold 700 credit score, this might cause a problem for both market tenants and housing choice voucher recipients. See the “Best Practices” resource for alternative methods of qualifying applicants consistently and fairly.
This will depend on whether utilities are included in the amount due to the housing provider. Also, the local housing authority should be able to answer some of these questions.
The housing choice voucher will likely increase if the tenant loses income. The local housing authority will likely answer that question as well.
A tenant might be evicted for not paying the tenant’s portion of the rent as established by the local housing authority, or for violating other provisions in the lease.
The owner/landlord, property management companies, homeowner associations, corporations, real estate brokers and others who might sell or rent housing. Financial institutions and appraisers must also refrain from discriminating based on Source of Income.
No. While housing providers will not be required to lower their rent to accommodate a Source of Income, they must not inflate their rent to avoid renting to a housing choice voucher participant. They must also avoid charging a different amount for security deposit than they do for market tenants.
Yes, so long as the criteria is applied uniformly to all rental housing applicants.
The housing provider must only consider the tenant’s/applicant’s portion of the rent. For example, a unit is advertised for $2,000 and there is a policy that the applicant must have an income of 3 X the rent amount. Normally, the applicant’s monthly income would need to be at least $6,000. If the subsidy is $1,500, then the applicant will owe $500 per month in addition to the voucher amount. Therefore, if housing provider requires 3 X the rent amount, the housing provider would use 3 X $500 (the
amount provided by the applicant) for $1,500 per month. So, if the applicant makes at least $1,500 per month, the applicant will qualify for the $2,000 rent, considering the $1,500 housing choice voucher plus $500 from the applicant. If the formula does not
work, or if it disqualifies only applicants who receive housing choice vouchers, the housing provider might need to establish different but consistent and uniform criteria.
The State of Illinois has not yet given guidance on that question, so the housing provider should check with the local housing authority and their own attorney on that issue.


Consider the following positive attributes of the housing choice voucher program