Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifts order barring Austin’s Source of Income protection ordnance

This afternoon the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans vacated its order blocking immediate implementation of the City of Austin’s amendment to the city’s fair housing ordnance protecting tenants from landlords who discriminate against them because of their lawful source of income.

This clears the way for the city to immediately offer Housing Choice Voucher Holders protection against this discrimination.

Currently 90 percent of voucher holders are ethnic and racial minorities. Discrimination against these families has severely aggravated Austin’s extreme racial and economic segregation.

This is the latest setback to the Austin Apartment Association’s efforts to maintain landlords’ power to deny housing to voucher holders. US District Judge Sam Sparks earlier ruled against the Apartment Association, finding the association was unlikely to prevail in a trial on the merits of the case.

The apartment association claims 91 percent of Austin rental properties use the lease terms promulgated by the association.