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Discrimination in housing unfortunately still occurs – but it tends to be subtle. Reporting an incident like this in a timely manner is critical so that an investigation can begin. Sometimes, our office can engage an organization to conduct testing to determine whether discrimination based on race, or even familial status, occurred. Testing involves the use of trained volunteers to pose as persons interested in renting out that particular unit. If you think you encountered housing discrimination, call the Fair Housing Office.
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No! Property owners are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities, so that they can have an equal opportunity to enjoy their dwelling unit. Sometimes, this may mean doing something different for the person with a disability – such as making an accommodation to a usual rule or procedure You have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from your housing provider. Contact the Fair Housing Office to learn more.
While you are free to place an ad for your second floor vacancy, you must ensure that you follow the fair housing laws when creating your ad. It is a violation of fair housing laws to express a preference for a certain kind of tenant, or to specifically exclude protected classes of persons. For example, stating that only single or married people can apply would exclude families with kids, and that would be a fair housing violation. It’s a good practice when writing a rental ad to focus on the property itself and the amenities, not the kind of tenant you are seeking.