Signs of Housing Discrimination

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Fair housing laws apply to single-family homes, duplexes, multifamily housing (apartments, condos, and townhomes), retirement housing, homeless shelters, and other nonprofit housing, etc.

Fair housing laws affect all housing transactions including sales, rentals, mortgage lending, building and construction, home  insurance, appraisals and inspections, etc.                         

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The Fair Housing Act requires most multi-family dwellings built since March 13, 1991, to be accessible to people with disabilities.


Signs of possible discrimination:

  • Charging higher rent or an additional deposit because someone needs a service animal to assist them with their disability.
  • Advertisements, signs or flyers which state, for example, “no children,” “no minorities,” or “Hispanics Need Not Apply.”
  • Limiting the number of children in a housing complex or confining them to a specific location or floor.
  • Being propositioned for sex in exchange for rent or deposits and/or inappropriate comments.
  • Refusing to rent to a person using a wheelchair for fear a unit might be damaged.
  • Steering minority homeowners to sections of the city where other minorities live or telling white home seekers to stay out of some areas.

Here are possible phrases you might hear from a landlord that might indicate possible discrimination:

  • “There’s a lot of traffic. It isn’t safe for kids.”
  • “The apartment I told you about on the phone has already been rented.”
  • “My insurance won’t cover a ramp if you get hurt.”
  • “We only take English speaking people.”
  • “The ad is wrong. The rent is really $75 higher per month.”
  • “Steps are what we have. We can’t accommodate a walker.”

Inaccessible housing might be illegal discrimination.

If you’re looking for an apartment and you can’t get in because of barriers like steps, steep slopes and lack of curb cuts, or if you find the kitchen or bathroom is not accessible, please call:

1-630-690-6500 or Toll Free: 1-877-HOPE-FHC



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