What is Fair Housing?
Fair Housing refers to a set of federal, state, and local laws that prohibit housing discrimination based on a person's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, familial status (children in the household under age 18, anticipated presence of children through adoption, pregnancy etc.), marital status, or physical or mental disability. These laws apply to all aspects of housing including renting, selling or buying housing, mortgage loans, adjustments to housing to become more physically accessible, and evictions. With few exceptions, these laws extend to all types of housing including individual homes, duplexes or triplexes, multifamily housing (apartments, condos, or townhomes), retirement housing, long term care facilities, and shelters.
- national origin
- familial status
- marital status
- source of income
- sexual orientation
- including gender identity
- domestic violence victims
History of Housing Discrimination
People who own older residential property in Albany may find racial restrictive covenants in their property deed and CCRs. Learn more about discriminatory covenants and how to get them removed from property records.
- Watch Housing discrimination in Oregon
- Read The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein or listen to him discuss the book concepts: 8 minute video; 49 minute video; 58 minute video
- Watch The Institute for Humane Studies: "How Zoning Laws Are Holding Back America's Cities" on how the history of planning has shaped US cities (7 minutes)
- How Land Use Policies Shape Our Lives (2:28):
Examples of Discrimination
The following list provides examples of housing discrimination but should be not considered a comprehensive list of the ways housing discrimination occurs. View this brochure (English/Spanish) for pictorial examples.
- Refusing to rent or sell to someone because they are member of a protected class
- Charging a higher rent or interest rate on a mortgage loan to someone because they are a member of a protected class
- Refusing to allow a person with a disability to make their housing more physically accessible
- Having different requirements or terms in a rental agreement or application because they are a member of a protected class
- Only offering or showing someone housing in a certain neighborhood or area because they are a member of a protected class
- Taking longer to perform maintenance or repairs on someone’s housing because they are a member of a protected class
- Falsely denying the availability of housing to someone who is a member of a protected class
- Actions that may not be overtly discriminatory but disproportionately affect people in a protected class (and have disparate impact)
- Denying to a residential land use application, permit or funding request because residents may be of a protected class
What does City of Albany do?
Albany works to further fair housing within the City by offering trainings and resources. Albany's Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice and Fair Housing Plan outlines the City's findings regarding fair housing issues identified within the city and steps that will be taken to reduce or remove impediments to fair housing.
Resources for residents
What can I do if I think I'm facing housing discrimination?
If you think you have faced discrimination, or if you would like more information about your rights, please visit the Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) website or call the hotline, 1-800-5424-3247, ext 2.
Brochures in numerous languages are available for download and staff can respond to questions and complaints having to do with housing discrimination related to federal, state and local laws. 1-800-424-3247. Las publicaciones están disponibles en español y tienen personal que habla español a través del teléfono.
You have one year to file a complaint with the government, and two years to file a lawsuit in federal or state court.
- Good Neighbor Guide
- Fair Housing Council Guides and Resources
- HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) website contains information to help you if you feel you have experienced housing discrimination.
- Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) enforces Oregon´s civil rights laws. These laws ban discrimination against individuals because of characteristics that make them part of a protected class. Anyone claiming to have been discriminated against at work, in a place where the public is served such as a restaurant or a hotel, when buying or renting housing, or when applying for or attending a career school can file a complaint with the BOLI's Civil Rights Division.
Resources for landlords
- Fair Housing 101 Training (cohosted with the City of Corvallis)
- Fair Housing Council of Oregon Housing Provider Resources