FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Literally anyone can file a complaint alleging discrimination- a person, a business, an organization, even someone associated with the victim can file a complaint if they were also harmed by the discriminatory housing practice.

A complainant [person alleging discrimination] should file a complaint within one year of the most recent discriminatory housing practice, at the latest. If the alleged violation occurred, for example, 366 days ago it would not be a timely violation eligible for filing.

One can also file if the discrimination is currently ongoing, or is about to occur in the future.

Housing is referred to as a Dwelling. Simply speaking, it is your primary residence. All fair housing complaints must address an interest in a primary residence dwelling, not a second home, vacation home, or temporary housing like a hotel, motel or an RV park for example.

A Dwelling could also refer to vacant land intended to be your primary residence. For example, you could allege that you were discouraged from purchasing vacant land where you intended to build your home because of your Race, for example.

Dwelling could also refer to an apartment, condo, or home that you wanted to rent or lease as a primary residence. Fair housing complaints often deal with discrimination that occurs during the application or home seeking process, not necessarily with those already housed.

No, not at all. The Fair Housing Act was designed to protect anyone from discrimination, not just those who can afford to hire counsel. This is why the process is an administrative one, not a civil one requiring court appearances. Most of the process is handled via correspondence, email, and phone calls with HUD investigators.
Anyone can file, however there are some necessary criteria, like ‘primary residence’ for example, that HUD would require to satisfy a prima facie case of housing discrimination. We suggest you complete the Housing Discrimination Questionnaire on our Home Page. A Fair Housing Advocates counselor will review your questionnaire and reach out to you with constructive feedback and next steps.
If you submit a completed Housing Discrimination Questionnaire like the one available on our Home Page, we can review your situation and determine next steps. Sometimes we will ask additional questions or require a phone interview. If we believe you have the elements for a good fair housing case, it is likely we will provide our advocacy services to you, at no cost of course. Complete the questionnaire and await our response.
Yes. We can host customized live fair housing webinars to suit your organization’s members with only a few days’ notice. We often host live webinars to educate consumers like our military Veterans, as well as provide fair housing education webinars for housing providers, landlords, and property management firms who need to keep up with fair housing law.