What You Should Know About the New Source of Income Law

Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® hosted four informational events about the benefits related to housing providers working with tenants who qualify for a housing voucher through the Housing Voucher Program (HVC). The momentum behind hosting these events is directly related to the new protection afforded under the Illinois Human Rights Act which bans discrimination based on tenant source of income for themselves and/or their dependents. 

Local Government Affairs Directors (GAD) Adriann Murawski and Joe Roth, Real Estate educator Annette Panzek, and subject matter experts (SME) from Cook, DuPage, and Lake County housing authorities focused the events on three essential questions: 

  1. What is source of income protection? 
  2. What should housing providers know? 
  3. What other Cook County laws are impacted? 

What is Source of Income Protection?

The amendment to Illinois Human Rights Act goes into effect on January 1, 2023 which bans discrimination in housing based on “source of income.” In many cases, source of income includes housing choice vouchers (HCVs), commonly known as Section 8 vouchers. Government Affairs Directors (GADs) Adriann Murawski and Joe Roth defined important terms, conditions, restrictions, benefits, and where funding originates. They knowledgeably and simultaneously guided both in person attendees and Zoom attendees through what the changes will be for all Illinois residents on January 1st, 2023.  

Specifically, GADs Murawski and Roth identified tenant and landlord benefits. For example, landlords who work with low-income families through the HCV program may earn additional cash flow each month, choose who their tenants are, lower the turnover rates in their properties, and fill out minimal paperwork.  

What Should Housing Providers Know?  

What was once known as the Section 8 Program has been renamed and sees funding coming from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

Topics range from how tenants are screened, income ratios, criminal background checks, rent reasonableness, and credit scores see the spotlight. Watch the video at the top of this page to find out which areas are excluded from HACC Service. 

There are advantages to accepting HCVs such as opening up a new market of potential tenants, guaranteed fair market rent, and rental history and utility payment criteria may still be applied.

What Other Cook County Laws are Impacted? 

While this particular law will affect all of Illinois, some laws in Cook County like the Just Housing Amendment are important for REALTORS®, housing providers, and tenants to know depending on where they work or choose to live. Topics like housing amendments, prohibiting discrimination, residential ordinance, tenant ordinance, plus regulations on the relationship between landlords and tenants were also discussed. Additionally, there are plenty of questions from the participants which organically form avenues of real estate conversation from real people with real concerns.  


Click here to view the full class video attached to this blog post for expanded information. You can also click the following links to download the Source of Income Protections and Housing Choice Voucher Program slide decks used during the presentation. Source of Income (SOI) will continue to see fresh information, and Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® is committed to providing updates in a timely manner. For blogs, to webinars, to Coffee and Conversation be sure to revisit this page for SOI news. 

In the future, if you would like to enroll in a class at Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® go to our website at SucceedwithMORe.com and click the calendar icon at the top for a catalogue of upcoming classes.