Do you need to file a Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint?
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Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity
In order to preserve and defend our freedom of choice as to where we want to live, we must ensure that this same freedom exists for everyone. Not until every person and family in this society is free to choose where they want to live, will the term "fair housing" have meaning and become a reality.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination occurs when an individual is, or individuals are accorded different or unequal treatment in the context of a similar situation because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or handicap.
Are there any prohibited actions?
It is unlawful for any person, including, but not limited to, owners, landlords, agents, real estate brokers, real estate salespersons, trustees, mortgagors, financial institution, title companies and/or insurance companies to:
Discriminate against any person in the sale, lease, rental or any other condition involving housing. Also, to discriminate in the extension of loans, credit, insurance or any other services related to the financing and/or transfer of interest in any dwelling.
Refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer. Discriminate in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling. Print, publish or advertise sale or rental of a dwelling which indicates preference, limitations or discrimination.
Represent to any person that a house is not available for inspection, sale or rental, when such a house is, in fact available. Induce, or attempt to induce, for profit, any person to sell or rent a house by representation regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or handicap. Aid, abet, incite, or coerce, the doing to any of the acts prohibited under Ordinance 87.10.
What are the warning signs?
The manager takes your application and you are never contacted. A "vacancy" sign is displayed and the manager tells you there are no vacancies available. The information given you in person is not the same information received over the phone. You are told that the unit for rent or sale is still occupied and cannot be shown right now. The "vacancy" sign is displayed and the manager tells you he will put you on their waiting list. You are told you cannot move in right now but another person is told they can move in right away. You are directed away from a neighborhood because "you wouldn't like it there." You are directed to another development because housing is more affordable there. You are told "This neighborhood is not the best place to live." Or, "The owner has changed his mind." A mortgage company or bank refuses to approve a loan even though you qualify. Your deposit and/or rent is a higher amount than that of other tenants. You are told that the unit has been rented but the ad continues to appear.
What is the complaint procedure?
The administrative complaint process will provide for an informal method of resolving a housing discrimination complaint. The intent of this process is to reach a solution and resolve the disagreement as quickly and as fairly as possible.
1. Any person, group or representative of a person or group may file a housing discrimination complaint with they City of Tempe Housing/Redevelopment Division. The complaint should be filed immediately or as soon as possible after the alleged discriminatory act took place.
2. The complaint must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days from the actual date of the alleged discriminatory act.
3. The Fair Housing Coordinator will be available to facilitate the filing of a discrimination complaint.
4. A signed and dated written statement by the person filing the complaint which identifies the person(s) involved, the date and description of the alleged discriminatory act will be sufficient to proceed with an investigation.
5. The Fair Housing Coordinator will make every effort to investigate, mediate and resolve the complaint within thirty (30) days from the date of filing.
6. The Fair Housing Coordinator will furnish a copy of the complaint to the person(s) (respondent) who allegedly committed the discriminatory act. The respondent's information will be reviewed to determine if the complaint is valid.
7. If, in the judgment of the Fair Housing Coordinator, there is no unlawful practice of housing discrimination based on the prohibitions of the City Ordinance, the complaint will be dismissed. Both parties will be notified of this judgment in writing.
8. If the investigation reveals unlawful conduct, an attempt to mediate and resolve the complaint through an informal method will be made. If successful and acceptable terms are agreed upon by both parties, the case will be closed.
9. If either party involved in the process is dissatisfied with the suggested terms of agreement, one or both may file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's office or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
**FILE A FAIR HOUSING DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT **