Federal fair housing law protects against housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability. Michigan law adds age and marital status protections. Local fair housing ordinances may also include condition of pregnancy, source of income, family responsibilities, educational association, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, political orientation, and/or use of adaptive devices or aids.
How do you know if you have been treated unfairly? The truth is, you often don’t. While commonly experienced, discrimination can be subtle, friendly, and often difficult to pin down. “Housing discrimination often comes with a smile and a handshake” is a common motto at our office. If you find yourself on this website because you think something “odd,” “unfair,” or “wrong” happened to you and you wonder if it is illegal discrimination, please call us at 1-877-979-FAIR (3247) or fill out our online contact form.
Some examples of what housing discrimination could sound like:
“Sorry, we just rented the last apartment”
“No disability, we only rent to working people”
“We aren’t set up for children”
“You’ll have to end your maternity leave and return to work before we can process your loan application”
“A boy and a girl can’t share a bedroom”
“You have to be married”
“We must have lost your application”
“You might feel more comfortable in another neighborhood”
“Most of the people who live in this building are ‘professionals’”
“If you go out with me, I’ll lower your rent payment”
“You can’t build a ramp for access to the building—it won’t look good”
“Your credit isn’t good enough”
If you’ve heard remarks such as these while looking for a place to live, you may have experienced illegal housing discrimination. If you have any reason to believe that you have been the victim of housing discrimination in Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston, Lenawee, Monroe, or Washtenaw county, please call us toll-free at 1-877-979-FAIR (3247) to discuss the situation or fill out our online contact form.