On January 13, 2021, the City Council enacted the Rental Housing Source of Income Amendment Act of 2020 (the “SOI Act”), and the same is currently undergoing Congressional review with a projected effective date of March 19, 2021. This law amends the Low-Income Housing Preservation and Protections Act of 2002 (D.C. Code 42-2851 et seq.) (the “Housing Act”) and extends the same protections established in that law and the Human Rights Act of 1977 to participants in housing assistance voucher programs created since those laws were last updated. The SOI Act clarifies that rental assistance provided by the District government is considered income to the tenant for minimum income qualification purposes (the prior version of the law only captured the federal Section 8 voucher program).
The SOI Act does impact a landlord’s day-to-day operations as it requires housing providers to include “in any written notice, statement, or advertisement of a dwelling unit for rent” the following statement: “We will not refuse to rent a rental unit to a person because the person will provide the rental payment, in whole or in part, through a voucher for rental housing assistance provided by the District or federal government.” We recommend that all landlords take steps to update all print and electronic advertisements for rental units to include this specific language and to consider adding such language to the mandatory disclosure of eligibility criteria given to all applicants before any information and application fee is collected.
The enrolled original of the SOI Act is available here.
Should you have any questions on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact Joshua Greenberg, Richard Luchs or Mark Policy.