NEW RELEASE: State Attorney General Greenlights Tucson's Source of Income Protection Ordinance

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Arizona Attorney General Kristin Mayes today reversed her predecessor’s decision to block the City of Tucson’s newly adopted Source of Income Protection Ordinance.

Mayes’ withdrawal of former Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s December 2022 report (No. 22-002) will allow the City of Tucson to proceed with its step to protect prospective renters who rely on alternative sources of income. The new opinion cited two legal errors in the earlier opinion which had been requested by the Arizona Speaker of the House.

Mayes’ report stated that the City of Tucson’s ordinance does not violate state law or the Arizona Constitution.

“The Source of Income Protection is one of the solutions for the housing crisis in Arizona,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “I applaud Arizona Attorney General Mayes for reversing the opinion of the previous AG and recognizing that the City of Tucson has the authority as a chartered city to make the decisions that protect our most vulnerable residents.”

Tucson Mayor and Council adopted the Source of Income Ordinance on Sept. 27, 2022, adding a protected class to stem housing discrimination based on a person’s source of income which is defined as “any lawful source of income or support” for a renter or buyer. Various sources of income include child support, spousal support, rental assistance, social security or disability insurance, veterans’ benefits, or any other form of governmental assistance.

Brnovich’s office concluded that the Tucson ordinance violated state law and gave Tucson until Jan. 21, 2023, to resolve the violation or lose its share of state funding. The City suspended enforcement of the ordinance on Jan. 11, and two days later requested new Arizona General Mayes to review her predecessor’s decision.

“The Housing and Community Development Department stands ready to welcome new landlords to our program and to provide them with great service. The participants of the various housing programs will have more opportunities to secure housing because of this decision,” said HCD Director Liz Morales.

The ordinance was included in a 10-point blueprint to enhance and improve affordable housing, called Housing Affordability Strategy for Tucson. The Mayor and Council adopted the HAST plan in December 2021. The Source of Income was added to the City of Tucson’s Human Relations Ordinance which makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, color, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, sex, and marital or familial status.