Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during National Fair Housing Month, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-50), Adam Schiff (CA-30), and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) reintroduced the Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2023 to protect veterans and low-income families from housing discrimination. Over two million veterans and low-income households use Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) to pay rent, but there are no federal protections to prevent individuals from being denied housing based on source of income. In 2018, Rep. Peters supported an ordinance passed by the City of San Diego to prohibit source of income discrimination. Many veterans and low-income families have reported discrimination from landlords when using vouchers to pay their rent in states and cities where there are no source of income protections. California and Virginia have since enacted legislation to prohibit discrimination based on source of income, and Peters, Schiff, and Kaine want to expand that progress nationwide.


The Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2022 would expand protections by adding source of income and veteran status to the list of protected classes under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, giving more individuals and families access to affordable housing. It would prohibit landlords from denying housing to individuals who use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8), HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, benefits received through Social Security, income received by a court order, payment from a trust or guardian, or any other lawful source of income.


“In San Diego and across the country there are too many stories of unnecessary loss and debilitating anxiety when looking for housing,” said Rep. Peters. “No American should be denied housing based on the source of their income or their status as a veteran, especially as we face a historic housing crisis and unacceptable levels of veteran homelessness. Our bill would make this type of deplorable discrimination illegal.”


“We must put an end to discriminatory housing practices that target individuals who use vouchers to pay their rent — often low-income families, people of color, and veterans,” said Rep. Schiff. “I am proud to be introducing this bill with Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Scott Peters to ensure that veterans and vulnerable communities are protected from income-based discrimination when they apply for housing.”


“Access to safe, affordable housing provides individuals with stability and opportunity, but too often, individuals have been denied housing because of how they pay rent,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m proud to reintroduce this bill to protect veterans and low-income families from discrimination and expand access to housing for all Americans.”


“The San Diego Housing Commission strongly supports the Fair Housing Improvement Act to help prevent housing discrimination and make it easier to access affordable housing in a variety of communities,” said San Diego Housing Commission Interim President and CEO, Jeff Davis. “Obtaining a home they can afford in a community they choose that best meets their needs is essential for households with low income, veterans and service members. We thank Representative Peters for his leadership on this important legislation.”


“I applaud Senator Kaine and Representative Peters for introducing this important legislation to help combat housing discrimination, segregation, and inequity,” said National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Where you live has an enormous impact on the opportunities we have in life – everything from educational attainment, to lifetime earnings, better health, and life expectancy. For too long, discrimination has prevented people with low incomes from living in neighborhoods of their choice – including communities with access to jobs, high performing schools, healthcare, and transportation – simply because they rely on federal housing benefits to make ends meet. This legislation is an important step towards righting this wrong.”


In 2021, fair housing complaints increased to over 31,000, and there were more complaints of discrimination based on source of income compared to 2020. People of color, particularly Black women, are disproportionately impacted and more likely than any other group to be evicted or denied housing.


The following groups and organizations support this bill:

A Way Home America; American Association of Service Coordinators; Catholic Charities USA; Center for Community Progress; Center for Disability Rights; Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP); Children’s Defense Fund; Children’s HealthWatch; Church World Service; Coalition on Human Needs; Community Change Action; Community Solutions International; Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces; Council of Large Public Housing Authorities; Council of State Community Development Agencies; CSH; Disability Rights Advocates; Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund; Economic Policy Institute; Enterprise Community Partners; Funders Together to End Homelessness; Grounded Solutions Network; Healthcare Anchor Network; Hispanic Federation; Housing Assistance Council; Housing Justice Center; Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia; Justice in Aging; Leaders and Organizers for Tenant Empowerment (LOFTE) Network; LeadingAge; Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Low Income Investment Fund; Mobility Works; National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA); National Alliance to End Homelessness; National Association for County Community and Economic Development; National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders; National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies; National Association of Social Workers; National CAPACD; National Center for Housing & Child Welfare; National Coalition for the Homeless; National Community Action Partnership; National Community Development Association; National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income consumers); National Disability Institute; National Disability Rights Network (NDRN); National Domestic Violence Hotline; National Fair Housing Alliance; National Health Care for the Homeless Council; National HIV/AIDs Housing Coalition; National Homelessness Law Center; National Housing Law Project; National Housing Resource Center; National Housing Trust; National Low Income Housing Coalition; National NeighborWorks Association; National Network to End Domestic Violence; National Resource Center on Domestic Violence; National WIC Association; National Women's Law Center; Natural Resources Defense Council; NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Opportunity Starts at Home campaign; Paralyzed Veterans of America; Poverty & Race Research Action Council; Prosperity Now; Public Advocacy for Kids; San Diego Housing Commission; Shriver Center on Poverty Law; Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future; StriveTogether; Technical Assistance Collaborative; The Kelsey; Union for Reform Judaism; Up for Growth Action; Virginia Housing Alliance; Virginia Poverty Law Center; and ZERO TO THREE.


Full text of the bill is available here.