Michigan is suffering from a serious shortage of affordable housing. This problem is made worse when families are turned away by landlords or lenders solely because they receive income from sources other than traditional employment such as veterans' benefits, Housing Choice Vouchers, child support, or disability benefits. It's time for the legislature to mandate fair treatment for people seeking housing regardless of their lawful source of income.
Housing vouchers serve as valuable tools for low-income families to secure stable housing in neighborhoods of their choice. The Michigan ALICE Report shows us that before the pandemic even hit Michigan, one in three households couldn't afford basic needs like housing, and the economic challenges caused by COVID-19 and inflation have surely worsened the situation.
All families deserve safe, secure, and affordable housing — regardless of their income. Removal of barriers, like Source of Income Discrimination, that contribute to Michigan's affordable housing crisis will help more families access stable housing.
Our families and communities are counting on Michigan's legislators to end this discriminatory practice and promote equitable access to housing. Join us in urging them to pass this housing anti-discrimination legislation today!
In Michigan, those seeking to rent a home are often rejected solely due to discrimination or bias against their legal sources of income (SOI) such as Social Security, veterans' benefits, child support, disability benefits, or Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV). It is essential that we work to remove barriers that make it difficult for families to access safe, affordable housing.
I am writing today to urge you to support SB 254-255 and HB 4553-4554 which will not only remove one of these barriers, but help make far better use of existing resources by prohibiting source of income discrimination.
Housing vouchers are a tool to help low-income families to find stable housing in neighborhoods with better opportunities for education and jobs, but they only work when landlords accept them. Currently, only 5.5 percent of Michigan's housing stock has an HCV or other federal rental assistance attached to it. If a household's source of income is legal, they should not be turned away from landlords and lenders solely based on their SOI.
According to the ALICE Report, issued in 2021 by the Michigan Association of United Ways, 38 percent of Michigan families were struggling to afford their basic needs -- including housing -- even before the pandemic began. The SOI legislation would help expand housing opportunities for tens of thousands of Michigan families, helping to alleviate the state's affordable housing crisis while also making housing access more equitable.
Prohibiting source of income discrimination can be an effective tool for addressing one of the barriers contributing to Michigan's affordable housing crisis. Please support Michigan families by passing legislation to end source of income discrimination and improve access to housing for tens of thousands of Michigan families.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts on this important issue and for your service to our community.