The U.S. Fair Housing Act is a federal law that protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a home loan, seeking housing assistance or engaging in other housing-related issues. This law makes it illegal to discriminate against a person or family seeking housing because of their race, color of skin, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity or sexual orientation), familial status or disability. The law applies to most private housing and all government subsidized housing.


If you feel that you have been or are being discriminated against or harassed when you are searching for housing—or even while living in your present home —you are encouraged to file a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If you file a complaint, it is also illegal for a landlord or property owner to retaliate against you or any witnesses.


If you need help determining if you are the victim of housing discrimination or need help filing a complaint, visit this U.S. Department of Justice website to locate an organization near you that participates in the HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). These organizations may be able to speak to the housing provider on your behalf, conduct an investigation to help determine if you experienced discrimination, or otherwise provide you with information and assistance.


If you have questions about this process, message us:


Disclaimer: This article was created in partnership with Refugee Housing Solutions. Refugee Housing Solutions is a project of Church World Service (CWS) under an agreement paid for by the U.S. departments of State, and Health & Human Services.