As part of JCUA’s support of the campaign to protect the rights of affordable housing voucher holders in Cook County, JCUA’s Rabbi Ali Abrams spoke at a Town Hall meeting on this issue on January 24, 2013. JCUA is committed to the struggle to ensure access to secure, decent, affordable housing in vibrant communities for all.
by Lauren Goldstein
Organizing and Advocacy Intern, JCUA
Today, in Chicago, we are fortunate enough that our city prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of a person’s source of income. Today, in Chicago, regardless of how an individual earns an income, they can use that income for housing. Our neighbors in Cook County outside of Chicago do not enjoy safeguards against discrimination.
The Cook County Human Rights Ordinance currently protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of a person’s source of income. HOWEVER, it specifically exempts people who hold Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. This means that a Cook County resident holding a Housing Choice Voucher may still be denied housing by a housing provider/landlord.
Unfortunately, we have seen that this is happening far too regularly in Cook County outside of Chicago, as many housing providers are refusing to rent to qualified vouvher-holding residents. This discrimination has become a proxy for other types of illegal discrimination based on race, familial status, and disability.