The Arizona attorney general has reversed an opinion by her predecessor and says source-of-income ordinances are OK in Arizona, according to her opinion.
Attorney General Kris Mayes said “legal errors were made” and reversed a decision by previous Attorney General Mark Brnovich in December 2022, which had said the source-of-income ordinance passed by Tucson violated state law. Mayes said the city of Tucson’s ordinance does not violate state law or the Arizona Constitution
Tucson’s ordinance barred discrimination against renters and prospective homebuyers based on their source of income, such as those who use Section 8 housing vouchers or foster-care subsidies
“The source-of-income protection is one of the solutions for the housing crisis in Arizona,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero in a release. “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.”
The Phoenix City Council also passed a similar source-of-income ordinance and the city was waiting on Mayes’ approval before enforcing the ordinance.
“Discrimination has no place in Phoenix, especially as we continue taking on the challenge of creating affordable housing options for our residents,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement.
“The source-of-income ordinance we passed will help us move closer to our goal of housing more residents with an eye towards equity. I want to thank Attorney General Mayes for her thoughtful and quick work to correct the course on this issue, and I look forward to the positive impact it will have on thousands of Phoenicians,” Gallego said.
In the opinion, Mayes said, “Among other things, these legal errors would discourage cities and towns from amending their fair-housing ordinances to reflect changes in state and federal fair-housing laws, and would undermine all post-1995 amendments made to those ordinances even if the amendments brought the local ordinances into compliance with federal and state law. These legal errors and their concerning consequences necessitated reconsideration” and reversal of Brnovich’s opinion.