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This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.
Ban on Immigration Status Discrimination
- Right to housing
The jurisdiction prohibits discrimination based on real and/or perceived immigration status, including or specifically in housing
A right to housing requires housing free from all forms of discrimination. Youth and young adults should be able to secure housing regardless of their source of income, age, immigration status, racial or ethnic background, disabilities, body size, gender identity, sexual orientation or family status. Housing should be appropriate for and inclusive of all diverse tenant identities.
The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, financing, and advertising of housing based on certain protected characteristics. These include race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) currently interprets the Fair Housing Act’s ban on sex-based discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Some jurisdictions have codified protections for LGBTQIA2S+ people to strengthen the federal protections.
In addition, several jurisdictions and municipalities have laws that protect against discrimination based on other characteristics, including source of income, immigration status, and body size. For example, in New York City, it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their source of income, which includes government subsidies like Section 8 vouchers. Similarly, several cities and jurisdictions have laws that prohibit housing discrimination based on immigration status or body size. These protections are important for ensuring that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of their background or circumstances.
“In LA, situations are challenging. Visible and hidden disabilities require safe and adequate spaces for people. There is a feeling that “you should be grateful” for anything. Service providers don’t take much time to ensure housing is low barrier, accessible, and adaptable for each person on a case-by-case scenario.” – Theo O.
|Type of Policy
|The jurisdiction prohibits discrimination based on immigration status or perceived status
|No laws found
Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, Ban on Immigration Status Discrimination" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/ban-on-immigration-status-discrimination/. Accessed: February 23, 2024.
Right to Housing
The Index is centered around the fundamental human right to housing. A right to housing is the guarantee that every youth and young adult can access and maintain safe and habitable housing. The elements of a right to housing are:
- Security of tenure;
- Availability of services;
- Cultural adequacy.
“There should always be somewhere for everybody to go. We all should be able to have the housing we need. It shouldn’t be something that you HOPE to get, it should be a given. Build more shelters, build more housing.” – K. Livingston
(racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, etc.)
Anti-oppression is an essential component of creating a just and equitable society. It is crucial to acknowledge the systemic oppression faced by marginalized communities, including racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, and other forms of oppression. In the context of housing, these oppressions manifest in various ways, such as discriminatory rental practices, inaccessible housing for people with disabilities, and harassment and violence against marginalized communities.
To combat these injustices, it is essential to implement anti-oppressive policies and practices in the housing sector. This includes creating inclusive housing policies that prioritize the needs of marginalized communities, providing accessible housing for people with disabilities, and addressing discrimination and harassment through legal measures. By prioritizing anti-oppression in housing, we can create a more just and equitable society where everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of their identity or background.