Fair Housing Consortium
Fair Housing is Your Right!
Fair Housing is a right protected by federal and state laws. Fair housing means you may freely choose a place to live without regard to your race, color, religion, sex, national origin or because you are disabled or have children in your family.
Housing Discrimination is Illegal!
Fair Housing opens doors...but only with your help. Learn to recognize the signs of discrimination in rental, sales, lending and insurance.
How Do You Recognized Discrimination?
Housing discrimination is rarely blatant. It is usually disguised and, more often than not, is done with a smile and a handshake. Your fair housing rights are violated when you are prevented from doing the following because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, family or military status.
Be suspicious when you hear statements like...
Consequences of Housing Discrimination
If you feel you have been treated unfairly, do the right thing and call one of the following numbers:
Seneca-Tiffin Fair Housing Consortium. . . . . . .1-800-941-4558
The Department of Housing and Urban Development
Fair Housing Hotline. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-669-9777
TDD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-927-9275
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission. . . . . . . . . . .1-888-278-7101
TTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-614-466-9353
What can you do to Support Fair Housing?
If you have a Disability
You have the right to the housing of your choice.
It is illegal for anyone to deny housing because you have a mental or physical disability, or a record of having had a mental or physical disability.
The Fair Housing Act protects people with mental retardation, mental illness, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairments, AIDS, and other disabilities. People who use walkers, wheelchairs, companion animals, or a personal care attendant are all protected against housing discrimination.
How to Recognize Discrimination Against the Disabled...
Landlords and real estate agents usually don't say,
Some of the things they do say are:
You are entitled to reasonable accommodations!
Landlords must let you make physical changes to your apartment if you need them, but landlords don't have to pay for them, that is your responsibility. For example, if you need grab bars in the bathroom or wider doors, the landlord must give you permission to make the changes. Remember...the cost of the changes are yours.
Landlords must make reasonable exceptions to rules that interfere with your ability to live comfortably in your home. For example, if you need to make an extra key so a friend can come to help you, the landlord has to bend the rule that only tenants may have keys. If you can't hear a smoke alarm, the landlord must install visual alarms in public areas and must let you put one in your apartment.
If you Have Children...
You have the right to the housing of your choice. Housing discrimination against families with children is no longer legal in any state or in the nation. This means that families cannot be denied housing simply because they have children.
The law protects pregnant women, families with children, adults serving as guardians for children, and those in the process of obtaining legal custody of children (such as adoption.)
The protected class of Familial Status only protects families with children. It is not related to marital status, sexual preference or unmarried couples living together.
How to Recognize Housing Discrimination Against Families with Children...
Suspect housing discrimination when these types of comments are made:
In some very narrow circumstances, it is legal to exclude families with children from an apartment or housing of their choice. Housing complexes designated for older persons can exclude families if they meet certain strict criteria.
Harassment is a Crime!
If you are being threatened, coerced, harassed, or intimidated because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, family or military status, or because of the race of your relatives or visitors, call your local F.B.I. office and police department. Also report the problem to the Fair Housing Program, to HUD and/or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
Harassment is a criminal violation of the Fair Housing Act!
If you are Sexually Harassed
It is a violation of the Fair Housing Act for a landlord or his/her agent to ask for or require sexual favors in exchange for the rental of an apartment, lease renewal, repairs, or any other condition or privilege of renting.
Sexual harassment can range from the landlord or agent (superintendent, maintenance worker, rental manager, etc.) Making sexual comments to actually physically assaulting you.
The landlord may be direct and demand that you sleep with him to rent the apartment or get repairs made. He may enter your apartment without permission and make sexually offensive comments to you or try to touch you.
If you have engaged in sexual activities to pay the rent or security deposit or to get repairs made, and you refuse further demands for sexual contact with the landlord, you may still be a victim of sexual harassment.
The landlord cannot retaliate against you because you say "NO!" or because your report him. He may try to evict you, refuse to do repairs, raise your rent, or threaten you because you refused his sexual advances. They are violations of the law, and you should it immediately!
Fair Housing for all is the law. It is unlawful to deny people the opportunity to live where they want and can afford. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, take the following steps:
Fair Housing Consortium
The Fair Housing Program is here to help you by answering your housing questions, assisting you in finding the right answers, to provide education on your rights and responsibilities, to assist you in filing a fair housing complaint. The Fair Housing Program offers assistance to everyone, tenants, landlords, real estate professionals, home buyers, home sellers, lenders, appraisers, county residents, government officials, etc. There is no fee for this service.
This document was published with support through the Community Development Block Grant program of the State of Ohio, through the Office of Housing and Community Partnerships.
Seneca Regional Planning Commission
71S. Washington St. Suite 1104
Tiffin, Ohio, 44883
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