Source of Income (Fair Housing Ordinance)
Prior to the 2020 enactment of SB 329 Housing Opportunities Act of 2019, the State’s law on housing discrimination based on source of income (California Government Code Section 12927) did not protect individuals or families with third party rental subsidies.
In March of 2017, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted the Marin County Source of Income ordinance, which eliminated limitations on the provision of rental housing for families and veterans who receive third party rental assistance. Source of income protection prevents landlords from advertising or stating a preference for certain source of income, from charging a higher deposit based on a person’s source of income, and from treating a person differently based on their source of income. It also establishes that an income requirement can only be applied to the tenant’s portion of the rent if they receive a third-party subsidy.
This ordinance applies to all properties in the unincorporated areas of Marin County. Other local jurisdictions that have passed similar source of income ordinances include the Town of Fairfax (2018), City of San Rafael (2018), City of Novato (2018), and Town of San Anselmo (2018).
The Ordinance defines source of income as “all lawful sources of income or rental assistance program, homeless assistance program, security deposit assistance program or housing subsidy program. Source of income includes any requirement of any such program or source of income or rental assistance.” In addition, the Ordinance prohibits the following:
- To interrupt, terminate, or refuse to initiate any transaction in real property because of a tenant’s source of income.
- To include in the terms or conditions of a transaction in real property any discriminating clause, condition or restriction due to the tenant’s source of income.
- To refuse or restrict facilities, services, repairs or improvements because of the tenant’s source of income.
- To make, print, publish, advertise, or disseminate any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to a transaction in real property that indicates preference, limitation or discrimination based on source of income.