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How To Recognize Housing & Lending Discrimination

Are you in a “protected class”?

Protected Classes, Bases for Discrimination
Federal, state and local fair housing laws protections make it illegal to discriminate based on a person’s:
•    Race*
•    Color*
•    National Origin*
•    Religion*
•    Sex*
•    Familial Status*
•    Disability*
•    Age
•    Marital Status
•    Sexual Orientation
•    Gender Identity & Transgender Status
•    Ancestry
•    Military Discharge Status
•    Lawful Source of Income
•    Housing Status

*Only bases covered by the federal Fair Housing Act and also covered by state and local laws

Have you experienced a “prohibited act”?

Prohibited Acts
Under the Fair Housing laws, it is a prohibited violation, based on a person’s protected class to:
•    Refuse to rent or sell housing
•    Represent that housing is unavailable when in fact it is available
•    Show you apartments or homes only in certain neighborhoods
•    Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
•    Provide different housing services or facilities
•    Advertise housing to preferred groups of people only
•    Refuse to provide information regarding mortgage loans, deny a mortgage loan, or impose different terms or conditions on a mortgage loan
•    Deny property insurance
•    Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner
•    Refuse to make certain modifications or accommodations for persons with a mental or physical disability
•    Fail to design and construct housing in an accessible manner
•    Harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising or assisting someone else with their fair housing rights

Some fair housing violations may occur blatantly such as:  a housing provider casually advising you that they don’t rent to families with children; or that their “no pet” policy prohibits you from renting if you have a service animal.

The vast majority of violations, however, may be more subtle:  a real estate agent providing you with options in only one community, but not showing you comparable options in other communities, or a housing provider sincerely representing that an advertised home or apartment has just been sold or rented, when in fact it was still available.

What are your options?


Interested in Learning More about Fair Housing?

Below are a few resources to get you started:

The History of the Fair Housing Act

Fair Housing in Chicago: MLK & the Chicago Freedom Movement

LGBTQ and Fair Housing

More resources coming soon!