The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP), a Dallas-based housing advocacy group, has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the North District of Texas challenging a state law passed in 2015 that prohibits cities from adopting source of income protection for residents who receive federal housing assistance.
The Texas Apartment Association strongly supported passage of this law to help ensure that rental property owners continued to have discretion to decide whether to participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (commonly known as Section 8). TAA’s position is that any measure that adds source of income as a protection in local Fair Housing laws would result in requiring property owners to participate in and follow all the requirements of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, provided the applicant meets the owner’s other rental criteria. Congress intended for this program to be voluntary.
ICP claims the state’s source of income law is not constitutional because it violates the U. S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment as well as the federal Fair Housing Act.
TAA will update members as this issue develops.
A complete copy of the lawsuit can be found here.