Panel Paper: Do Source of Income (SOI) Anti-Discrimination Laws Facilitate Access to Better Neighborhoods?

Thursday, November 8, 2012 : 3:40 PM
Pratt A (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Lance Freeman, Columbia University

In recent decades vouchers have come to be seen as a tool for promoting economic and racial/ethnic integration. The advantages of vouchers over project-based housing assistance depend on the ability of voucher recipients to locate a landlord who will accept the voucher. Some landlords wish to avoid the administrative burden associated with the voucher program. Other landlords perceive voucher recipients to be undesirable tenants and/or fear their other tenants would object to voucher recipients as neighbors. This type of discrimination based on SOI could hinder the use of vouchers to move to more desirable neighborhoods. State and local SOI anti-discrimination laws are one policy response to address this issue. SOI laws make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against voucher recipients solely on the basis of their having a voucher. The research presented here tested whether SOI laws improve locational outcomes for voucher recipients. This research found that SOI laws appear to have a modest impact on locational outcomes.

Full Paper: