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Fair housing allows everyone an equal opportunity to live where they choose and to live there without facing illegal discrimination. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on: race, color, religion, national origin, gender/sex, familial status, and disability. States and local jurisdictions provide additional protections. For example, Ohio prohibits housing discrimination based on ancestry and military status, in addition to the federally protected classes.

All real property (houses, condos, apartments, lots, etc.) rented or sold for the use or intention of use as a home or residence is covered by fair housing laws. These laws apply to all involved in the transaction: owner, advertiser, HOA, condo board, builder, broker, manager, agent, lender, insurer, etc. Fair housing rights can be violated at any step during the rental, purchase, or insuring of a property if the actions are based on a person’s protected class.

Common Signs of Illegal Discrimination:

  • Refusing to rent or sell a home

  • Failing to respond to a call or offer

  • Denying access to certain sites

  • Requiring unusual IDs or documents

  • Charging extra fees or deposits

  • Altering rules for qualification

  • Setting different residency policies


HOME distributes various educational materials regarding fair housing, protected classes, tenant-landlord law, fair lending, foreclosure prevention, and more. Our materials and resources can be found here. Additional information also is available at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing website at

HOME staff can explain your housing rights, help you gather evidence, and advise you on enforcement options. Contact HOME if you feel you may have experienced housing discrimination, have questions, or would like more information.

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