Please call: Cook County Board to vote Tuesday on ordinance to protect Housing Choice Voucher households

The proposed ordinance was sent to the Human Relations Commission for a hearing, with the hearing date pending.

At the Tuesday, June 19 meeting of the Cook County Board, Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia will introduce an ordinance to amend the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance to include households with a Housing Choice Voucher. This would protect families from the existing “Source of Income” (SOI) protections against discrimination when they seek housing.

Please call your county commissioner to express support. A bare majority of commissioners, nine of the 17, have expressed support, but interest groups that oppose it — primarily landlords and Realtors — have started making calls. We need to match those phone calls with calls of support. 

Background on the ordinance:

The Cook County Human Rights Ordinance (CCHRO) currently protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of a person’s source of income (such as child support or Social Security). But the ordinance specifically exempts from protection those holding “Section 8” Housing Choice Vouchers.  Presently, housing providers can and do deny qualified households solely because they have a Housing Choice Voucher. The proposed ordinance amendment would include in the protection against source of income discrimination persons with Housing Choice Vouchers.

Almost 40% of voucher recipients are employed, and more than 30% are seniors or disabled. More than 45 Chicago area organizations have endorsed the ordinance, including CCH, Housing Action Illinois and the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs.

What You Can Do

Call your Cook County Commissioner before Tuesday’s meeting begins at 10 a.m. and let them know you support Commissioner Garcia’s ordinance on “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing by Extending Source of Income Protection to Housing Choice Voucher Holders.”

In addition Commissioner Garcia, other co-sponsors  are Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and Commissioners Jerry Butler, John Fritchey, Edwin Reyes, Deborah Sims, Robert Steele, and Larry Suffredin.  Please call and thank them for their support.

1st, Earlean Collins, 312-603-4566
2nd, Robert Steele, 312-603-0319
3rd, Jerry Butler, 312-603-6319
4th, William Beavers, 312-603-206
5th, Deborah Sims, 312-603-6381
6th, Joan Murphy, 312-603-4216
7th, Jesus Garcia, 312-603-5443
8th, Edwin Reyes, 312-603-6386
9th, Peter Silvestri, 312-603-4393
10th, Bridget Gainer, 312-603-4210
11th, John Daley, 312-603-4400
12th, John Fritchey, 312-603-6380
13th, Larry Suffredin, 312-603-6383
14th, Gregg Goslin, 312-603-4932
15th, Timothy Schneider, 312-603-6388
16th, Jeffery Tobolowski, 312-603-6384
17th, Liz Gorman, 312-603-4215