Source of Income Legislation

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Worthington Adopts Legislation Prohibiting Source of Income Discrimination

On July 19, 2021, the Worthington City Council unanimously adopted legislation to amend the City's Non-Discrimination Ordinance in order to prevent discrimination against tenants based upon their source of income.  This followed a robust public engagement process led by the Worthington Community Relations Commission who made a formal recommendation to Council to adopt legislation after listening to residents, landlords, and other community stakeholders.  

What is Source of Income Discrimination?

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.

For any questions or to share your thoughts, please contact Management Assistant Ethan Barnhardt at or 614-786-7347.

  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.

Public Engagement

CRC members Eddie Pauline and Shawna LaRue Moraille, along with City Law Director Tom Lindsey were available during two sessions on Tuesday, June 15th to answer questions about what adopting SOI legislation would mean for Worthington. 
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.

Timeline for Adoption of Legislation

After a series of public discussions, Q&A opportunities, and a survey of Worthington landlords, draft legislation is being finalized and is expected to be introduced at the July 6, 2021 City Council meeting. A public hearing is expected to take place at the July 19 Worthington City Council meeting, where Council will hear public testimony and consider adoption of the new legislation.  

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