Update on Source of Income Legislation

Posted by Stephen Marshall on


Earlier this month, Lexington's Urban County Council passed an ordinance that would prohibit housing providers from discriminating based on a tenant's "source of income". That ordinance is set to take effect tomorrow, March 1. The upshot of the ordinance is that if a tenant applies and qualifies to live at your rental property, you could not reject that tenant because part of their income includes a housing voucher, such as Section 8 vouchers.

However, the state legislature has been considering two bills that would prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing such ordinances. The two bills were merged into House Bill 18, which passed the House 74-20 and the Senate 25-11. HB 18 has been delivered to Governor Beshear. 

He has three options:

1. Sign it into law (not gonna happen).

2. Do nothing, in which case it would become law after 10 days.

3. Veto it.

He's almost certain to veto it. However, Kentucky law allows the legislature to override his veto by a simple majority vote from each house. So, even if he vetoes the bill, the legislature will almost certainly override his veto.

HB 18 has an emergency provision in it that would make it take effect immediately. So, it's a bit of a race to the finish: will HB 18 become law by March 1? 

It doesn't look like it. So, there will likely be a short period of time where the law in Lexington (and Louisville) requires housing providers to include housing vouchers as income when evaluating tenants. Until HB 18 becomes law, that's what housing providers should do. 

Click here to see House Bill 18’s history and to read the bill.

We'll keep you updated as things develop. In the meantime, if you'd like to work together, you can reach me at smarshall@tripleslaw.com or at (859) 685-0035. Have a fantastic Leap Day!

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