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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: June 26, 2023 03:05 PM
From: Representative Ismail Smith-Wade-El and Rep. Greg Scott, Rep. Sara Innamorato
To: All House members
Subject: Preventing Housing Discrimination
Across our Commonwealth, too many individuals and families are denied housing because they are struggling financially and may need to use governmental assistance.  Also, some tenants are denied an apartment because their source of income is deemed “unacceptable” because they must work multiple jobs to afford increased rents.  Housing is a fundamental right and we as the General Assembly must work to protect that right.  Too often, housing agencies and those who provide services to the unhoused find that even when a family does receive a voucher, they may not be able to find housing in a tight market, especially given unfounded perceptions that landlords may have about the poor.
To help prevent this type of discrimination, I will be introducing a bill that provides new protections for tenants.  My bill will amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act by prohibiting housing discrimination based on a tenant’s participation in a governmental housing assistance program or their source of income.  Landlords will be able to request proof of source of income or the participation in the HUD Housing Voucher Program or other form of government housing assistance, but they will not be able to deny tenancy solely based on these factors.
This legislation not only help to protect the poor and the unhoused, but also people with disabilities, and veterans in possession of a Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher. Please join me in protecting Pennsylvanians and their right to housing, regardless of their source of income or if they require government assistance.