The Cook County Human Rights Ordinance was amended May 8, 2013 and now protects Housing Choice “Section 8″ Voucher Holders from discrimination. Starting August 8, 2013 landlords can no longer legally refuse to rent solely on the basis of a household’s voucher status.
Background: Voucher holders are no longer exempted from source of income protection at the county level. Although this protection has been in place in the City of Chicago since 1993, the new county-wide protection went into effect on August 8, 2013. Residents with housing choice vouchers have the right to be screened on the same basis as non-voucher tenants by prospective landlords. Landlords may not refuse to process a renter’s application simply because s/he has a housing voucher. Landlords may still conduct credit and background checks as long as they apply the same process to every tenant. The ordinance does not control rent rates. Landlords can set rent rates based on what the market will bear.