HUD PIH Launches Source-of-Income Protections Website

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) launched a new “Source of Income Protections” website. The new website was announced in an email sent on March 13 to public housing agency (PHA) directors by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Monocchio. In the email, Mr. Monocchio writes that “[d]iscrimination against families and individuals with vouchers is a problem that weighs heavily on me. It is senseless and is harmful to our tenants.” He notes that “[t]he impact of source of income discrimination remains severe, limiting housing options and making it difficult or even impossible for tenants to lease housing.” PDAS Monocchio also observes that “[w]hile some landlords refuse to accept vouchers outright, others attempt to discriminate in less obvious ways by adding extra requirements for voucher holders or requirements that have no bearing on their ability to pay rent or lease their suitability as tenants.”

The new website explains that source-of-income (SOI) discrimination refers to a landlord’s refusal to accept Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs, vouchers) to pay rent. NLIHC notes that SOI discrimination can also include refusing to rent to a household whose income is derived solely from Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); alimony or child support payments from a missing spouse; or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). PIH indicates that indirect source-of-income discrimination includes:

  • Requiring larger security deposits.
  • Imposing additional fees or penalties.
  • Imposing additional or unreasonable screening criteria.
  • Requiring additional references.

The PIH website reminds readers that properties assisted with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) are required by law to accept applicant households with vouchers. The website should also remind readers that properties assisted with the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) program are also required by law to accept vouchers and that properties assisted with the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) are required by regulation to accept applicant households with a voucher.

The website provides a map showing cities, counties, and states that have laws barring source-of-income discrimination. Advocates should also refer to “Appendix B: State, Local, and Federal Laws Barring Source-of-Income Discrimination” updated periodically by the Poverty & Race Resource Action Council (PRRAC).

Even if a household is in a jurisdiction that does not have source-of-income protections, the household still has rights under the “Fair Housing Act,” which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, family status (e.g., households with children under the age of 18), disability, or religion – the “protected classes.” For example, a landlord might claim that they are rejecting a household because they do not accept vouchers but might in fact be rejecting the household because it has characteristics of one of the protected classes.

The website suggests that a voucher household that thinks it is experiencing source-of-income discrimination should contact its PHA, a local fair housing organization, a HUD-assisted Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) organization, or a local legal aid office. A household can file a complaint with HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) or a state Fair Housing Assistance Agency (FHAP) if one exists.

PIH encourages PHAs in jurisdictions with source-of-income protections to provide HCV households with information about SOI during their HCV briefing and inform households about whom they can contact regarding source-of-income discrimination. The website encourages PHAs to educate owners about SOI protection laws and to dispel negative myths about the voucher program.

The website has materials from three reputable sources:

Explore the PIH Source of Income Protections website at:

The latest version of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) Source of Income “Appendix B” is at:

Information about Housing Choice Vouchers is on page 4-1 of NLIHC’s 2024 Advocates’ Guide.

Information about FHIP and FHAP is on page 8-5 of NLIHC’s 2024 Advocates’ Guide.