Source of Income Legislation

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What is Source of Income Discrimination?

City Council and members of the Community Relations Commission (CRC) have expressed interest in pursuing legislation preventing source of income (SOI) discrimination in Worthington.  In the summer of 2020, the CRC identified SOI as an issue that Worthington should look into, and in May 2021, the City Council directed the CRC to engage in a process to research and explore legislation that would amend the City’s Non-Discrimination ordinance to include housing discrimination based on source of income.

SOI discrimination is the practice of landlords, owners, and real estate brokers refusing to rent to prospective tenants seeking to pay for housing costs with lawful income other than job wages. SOI discrimination affects a broad demographic of individuals and families, but disproportionately affects renters of color, women, and persons with disabilities, and is more prevalent in areas with higher rents, quality schools, transportation services, and jobs.

This type of discrimination essentially prohibits individuals from having access to resource-rich neighborhoods where there are sparse affordable housing options. Research has indicated that there is a close connection between the neighborhood that children grow up in and their future outcomes. Families that relocate to lower-poverty neighborhoods, with the help of various assistance programs, see improved health outcomes, higher incomes, and greater rates of college attendance.

Learn more about why source of income legislation is important to help bring more diversity to the Worthington community in this special featured column in This Week News.

Upcoming Public Engagement Opportunities


Join the Worthington Community Relations Commission (CRC) and City Staff for two question and answer sessions on Tuesday, June 15th at 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM about the City's draft legislation regarding source of income discrimination.
CRC members Eddie Pauline and Shawna LaRue Moraille, along with City Law Director Tom Lindsey will be on hand to answer your questions about what adopting SOI legislation would mean for Worthington.

Join on your computer or mobile app:
Or call in (audio only):
Phone Conference ID: 135 324 625#

Facebook-Event-ImageThe CRC held a panel discussion on Tuesday, June 8th featuring Reynoldsburg Councilmember Shanette Strickland, Amy Klaben with Strategic Opportunities, and Jerry Valentine with Renter Mentor.

A video recording of the discussion can be found here.

  1. Why is SOI Legislation Needed?
  2. Why is Worthington Considering the Adoption of SOI Legislation?
  3. Who Does SOI Discrimination Affect?
  4. What Types of Income are Potentially Affected?
  5. What Are Some Examples of Practices That Will Be Prohibited?
  6. How Does SOI Affect Landlords?
  7. Will There Be Additional Responsibilities for Landlords?
  8. What Will Be the Complaint Process for Those Who Believe They Have Been Discriminated Against?

SOI discrimination by landlords is not prohibited under the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 or under Ohio fair housing laws. This means that landlords can choose not to accept income from a variety of sources for various reasons including perceived bureaucratic red tape, misconceptions about tenants, or personal prejudices.

Timeline for Adoption of Legislation

The Community Relations Commission has sketched out a public engagement process to reach out to the Worthington community and landlords to seek feedback on proposed SOI legislation. 

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