A Place to Call Home
Did you know that three out of every five housing vouchers distributed in Oakland County go back to MSHDA unused? This is the golden ticket of housing subsidies…after a year, it is portable and good anywhere in the United States. Yet why do the majority of vouchers go unused?
The lack of affordable housing is one issue that also contribute to the high numbers of unhoused people in Oakland County and the United States. Yet even when the individual finds an available and affordable apartment, often the landlord places a further (and yes, legal) impediment to resolution of the individual’s homelessness---refusal to rent to the person based on an income source. Landlords can legally state they will only consider earned income when evaluating a prospective tenant. They can refuse to consider alimony, child support, a gift/inheritance, Social Security income and yes, a housing voucher. Instead apartments may feature signage that states: You must EARN in a month, three times the amount of the monthly rent in order to be considered as a tenant.
Michigan Senate bills 205, 206, 207 http://legislature.mi.gov/(S(ktq3sroi5i4jn0jlwvue4xjc))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2023-SB-0004
seek to change this practice. These bills will be considered in a hearing on Tuesday, May 16 at 8:30 AM. We need your voice added to ours to make a change that gives everyone an opportunity to make a home in Michigan. These bills do not diminish the landlord’s rights to do a background or credit check, or change their pricing. These bills seek to have landlords consider ALL legal forms of income when evaluating a potential tenant.
The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness has put together a letter https://www.mihomeless.org/2022/04/21/source-of-income-sign-up-letter/
supporting these bills. Please consider signing this letter either as an individual or on behalf of an organization. We need you to sign this letter of support to our legislators to protect consideration of all legal sources of income. Each individual’s name, each organization that signs on strengthens the message that discrimination by source of income is wrong.
Your voice makes a difference to so many. Thanks for your help.