Effective October 1, Source of Income is a Protected Class Across the State of Maryland
During the 2020 Session of the Maryland General Assembly, legislators passed the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act which prohibits a housing provider from refusing to rent a unit to a resident because of the source of income used to pay their rent. This law becomes effective today, October 1, 2020. Prior to enactment of the statewide law, both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties prohibited source of income discrimination in local law. Source of income discrimination was also already prohibited by local law in Annapolis, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Fredrick and Howard County. The HOME Act extends the prohibition and makes 'Source of Income' a protected class statewide.
As of October 1, 2020 the following actions, based on an individual’s source of income, are prohibited under state law:
- refusing to sell or rent a dwelling after the making of a bona fide offer;
- refusing to negotiate for the sale or rental of a dwelling;
- making a dwelling otherwise unavailable;
- discriminating in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling;
- discriminating in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling;
- making, printing, or publishing or causing to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on source of income;
- representing to a person that a dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when it is available; and
- for profit, inducing or attempting to induce a person to sell or rent a dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons with a particular source of income.
Per the law, “source of income” is defined as any lawful source of money paid directly or indirectly to or on behalf of a renter or buyer of housing, including income from any lawful profession, occupation, or job; any government or private assistance, grant, loan, or rental assistance program, including low-income housing assistance certificates and vouchers; any gift, inheritance, pension, annuity, alimony, child support, or other consideration or benefit; and any sale or pledge of property or an interest in property.
Please contact Erin Bradley, Vice President of Government Affairs-Maryland, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 904-0814 with questions or concerns.