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call to action: source of income discrimination

To the members of Charlotte City Council,

Upward mobility and affordable housing are intrinsically intertwined and laden with complexities. Without safe and stable housing, a family will struggle. It is commonly accepted that concentrations of poverty are detrimental for community vitality. Source of Income Discrimination (SOID) has played a large role in compounding Charlotte’s upward mobility and affordable housing crises. SOID is any instance where a landlord, leasing agency, or seller of a property refuses services because of the way in which payment for housing is provided by or on behalf of the resident.

The problems brought on by SOID are not reserved exclusively for Choice Voucher (Section 8) holders. SOID applies to anyone who is paying for housing with any funds not coming from their paycheck. This includes funds like child support and alimony, Veteran benefits such as HUD VASH vouchers, student loans, inheritances, disability checks, and any rental assistance from a community organization or government entity such as the City of Charlottei or Mecklenburg Countyii. SOID has created a logjam for the entire housing continuum. With families unable to use their voucher, they are perpetually stuck in substandard or temporary housing or simply cannot find housing at all. By not being able to have access to stable rental housing, families are further delayed from accessing homeownership opportunities by not being able to produce proof of rental history.

In order to break the logjam of SOID, Charlotte City Council must update its Fair Housing Ordinance (Chapter 12, Article V) to protect all Charlotteans from Source of Income Discrimination.

Charlotte remains a segregated city. In some instances, inadvertently, but by design in others. We cannot change our past but we have a responsibility to create a just equitable society today, for the Charlotte of tomorrow.

Charlotte’s housing and upward mobility crises won’t be solved over night or with one “silver bullet.” Addressing Source of Income Discrimination is unequivocally a step in the right direction. Therefore we, the signed below, call upon Charlotte City Council to make the needed changes to its Fair Housing Ordinance to include protections against Source of Income Discrimination.

Sincerely,

Thanks to the organizations that have already signed on in support of this letter:

  • Action NC
  • Carolina Jews for Justice
  • Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
  • Charlotte Family Housing
  • Charlotte Pride
  • Charlotte Women’s Movement
  • Community Link
  • Equitable Communities CLT
  • For The Struggle, Inc.
  • Freedom Communities
  • Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
  • Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte
  • Heal Charlotte
  • Homeless Services Network
  • Housing Justice Coalition
  • Inlivian
  • LISC Charlotte
  • MeckMIN
  • NAACP Charlotte-Mecklenburg Branch
  • OneMECK
  • QC Family Tree
  • Rebuilding Together
  • Reentry Housing Alliance
  • The Relatives
  • Salvation Army Center of Hope
  • South Tryon Community Development Corporation
  • The Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice
  • Urban League of Central Carolinas
  • Veterans Bridge Home
  • West Side Community Land Trust
  • YWCA of Central Carolinas