On May 8, 2013 the Cook County Board of Commissioners, in a landmark vote to end discriminatory housing practices throughout Suburban Cook County, voted to pass the Source of Income Amendment to the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance. The amendment passed with 9 votes in favor and 6 against.
Housing Choice Voucher holders and advocates across suburban Cook County are celebrating this great victory. “This historic vote by the Cook County Board of Commissioners brings us one step closer to the America we all want. An America that is inclusive, where real opportunity is given to everyone, including the right to live
wherever they choose to live.” said John Bartlett, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization. Brendan Saunders Director of Advocacy and Community Organizing at Open Communities said: “This victory puts the choice back in Housing Choice Vouchers.”
This amendment, introduced by Commissioner Jesus Garcia, and cosponsored by Commissioner Larry Suffredin and Commissioner Robert Steele, effectively prohibits landlords in suburban Cook County from discriminating against renters with Housing Choice Vouchers by refusing to consider them as tenants. Renters seeking to live in suburban Cook County have been struggling for the passage of this type of protection for years, which renters in the Chicago area already enjoy through the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.