Know Your Fair Housing Rights
Housing discrimination can occur in ways that mask the true intent of the landlord or seller. Even problems that appear on the surface to be a landlord-tenant dispute may be a discriminatory practice. If something doesn't seem right, it is best to discuss the problem with our office staff or an agency that deals specifically in Fair Housing.
State and federal laws exist to protect your housing rights. It is unlawful for anyone to discriminate against you in your housing due to your:
- Race or Color
- National Origin
- Disability (physical or mental)
- Familial status (pregnant or having children under age 18 in your family)
- In additional, retaliation for opposing an unlawful housing practice or for exercising rights guaranteed under the law is prohibited
Additional protections exist under state or local laws:
- Iowa: sexual orientation and gender identity
- Lincoln, Nebraska: marital status
- Omaha NE: age (over age 40) and marital status
These fair housing laws have the common purpose of eliminating discrimination housing practices, including:
- Refusal to show you an available rental unit or home for sale, or to deny that a property is available for sale or rent
- Refusal to transmit an offer to buy or rent a dwelling
- Refusal to actually rent, lease or sell to you
- To create unequal terms, conditions or privileges on sales or rental, including demands of sexual favors in exchange for housing
- To limit housing choices by "steering" people to predetermined areas of a city or even buildings within a complex
- To play on racial stereotypes and fears to induce sales ("blockbusting")
- To limit sales, financing and insurance based on the racial composition of the neighborhood ("red-lining")
In addition, the law contains specific protections for people with disabilities. Landlords must make reasonable accommodations to policies or practices if related to your disability (such as allowing you to have a service or companion animal despite lease restrictions on "pets"). They must also allow you to make reasonable modifications to your unit if related to your disability. These matters are fact-specific, and you should contact help.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any housing transactions (rental, sales, financing or insurance), you have the right to have your complaint investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There is help for you to prepare your complaint to HUD. You have 365 days from the date you were subjected to a discriminatory housing practice to file your complaint, and two years from that same date to file a lawsuit in the federal court if you so choose.
You need to know our rights when you are considering a home purchase. Watch this video to learn more!
If you feel you have experienced the injustice of "housing discrimination" please refer to this link:
or contact: Pamela Thomsen, Fair Housing Representative, at
Three Rivers Housing Development Corporation
448 S. 13th Street Tekamah, NE 68061