Please be aware that the City of Dallas passed on ordinance last year that includes “source of income” as a protected class for purposes of housing discrimination.
Here is the relevant language from the City Code:
SEC. 20A-4. DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICES.
(a) A person commits an offense if he, because of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, familial status, national origin, or source of income:
(1) refuses to negotiate with a person for the sale or rental of a housing accommodation or otherwise denies or makes unavailable a housing accommodation to a person;
(2) refuses to sell or rent, or otherwise makes unavailable, a housing accommodation to another person after the other person makes an offer to buy or rent the accommodation; or
(3) discriminates against a person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of, or in providing a service or facility in connection with, the sale or rental of a housing accommodation.
(b) A person commits an offense if he, because of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, familial status, national origin, or source of income:
(1) represents to a person that a housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale, or rental if the accommodation is available;
(2) discriminates against a prospective buyer or renter in connection with the showing of a housing accommodation
We are aware of a housing discrimination case filed with the City of Dallas Fair Housing Office where a “tester” (feigning to be a veteran) called an apartment complex wanting to know if the apartment complex accepted Section 8 vouchers (the apartment does not). The tester was told “no” (which is a truthful statement). The complaint was filed against the property because the City takes the position that the apartment complex should have considered the amount of the voucher as “income” for purposes of qualifying the potential applicant (even though the property does not accept vouchers).
Please advise your staff for any properties in the City of Dallas that if a call comes in about accepting vouchers to state that “we invite all applicants to come on in and submit an application to see if you qualify.”
So, even if you don't accept Section 8, you have to be careful.