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What is Fair Housing?



What is fair housing?

Fair housing is the right to live in your home free from discrimination. Fair housing is protected by national, state and local laws. Yet, housing discrimination is still common.

Examples of unlawful housing discrimination could be:

  • A landlord telling parents “We don’t take kids here.”
  • A landlord denying housing to anyone with a felony.
  • A landlord telling a person of color that the apartments have all been rented.
  • A landlord telling a person with a disability that they cannot have their service dog live with them.

How can you make sure your housing is fair?

Start by knowing your rights. Fair housing laws say landlords cannot deny housing or treat tenants differently based on certain “protected” characteristics.  “Protected classes” are based on things like race, religion, sex, or disability.

Ohio law also protects people based on ancestry or military status. Cuyahoga County law protects LGBTQ+ persons. Fair housing laws in different cities and suburbs could also include protections for other groups based on age, marital status or having a housing voucher, to name a few.

What can you do about unfair treatment related to housing?

Call The Fair Housing Center at 216.361.9240 and ask for help.

The Fair Housing Center helps people every day to fight for their right to choose where they want to live.

This article was written by Carrie Pleasants from the Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research, and appeared in The Alert: Volume 35, Issue 1.