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FAIR HOUSING IS YOUR RIGHT!

Information on Fair Housing
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits discrimination in all housing transactions including but not limited to sales, rental, finance, providing reasonable accommodations or modifications to housing or commercial properties based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex Familial Status
  • Disability
  • Age(over 40 in housing
  • Ancestry
  • Pregnancy

For assistance filing a housing discrimination complaint, call toll-free, PA FAIR HOUSING HOTLINE, 855-866-5718.

The form at the link below is used to file complaints of illegal discrimination in housing & commercial property. There is also a release form to complete if your complaint is related to a disability. Forms for filing housing & commercial property discrimination complaints

Housing discrimination happens in the process of renting, buying, selling or getting a loan for a home. It also includes discrimination that denies someone the use or enjoyment of their home.

Commercial property discrimination includes discrimination during the purchase, sale or lease of commercial property. It also includes denying someone access to a commercial property on a discriminatory basis.

 

WHO IS PROTECTED

Discrimination in housing and commercial property is prohibited on the basis of race; color; sex; religion; national origin; ancestry; age (40 and over); pregnancy; familial status; handicap or disability; the use of a support animal or because the user is a handler or trainer of such support animals.

Housing for older persons can be provided under specific federal or state programs that are designed and operated to assist elderly persons. Housing requirements include:

  • Housing intended for and solely occupied by persons 62 years of age or older; or,
  • Housing intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit.
Requirements used in determining whether housing qualifies as housing for older persons include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • At least 80 percent of the units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older,
  • There is publication of and adherence to policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent by the owner or manager to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older, and;
  • The housing complies with regulations declared by PHRC for verification of occupancy.
Familial status is defined as families with children under 18. Familial status is protected in housing, but not in other areas (employment, public accommodations, education).

 

WHAT DOES HOUSING DISCRIMINATION LOOK LIKE?

Some examples of housing discrimination:

  • Saying a home is rented when it is still available, because the owner does not want to rent to someone of the applicant’s race.
  • Setting different terms and conditions for sale or rental of a property due to a person having a disability.
  • Charging a feel for a support animal (s).
  • Refusing to rent to families with children under the age of 18.
  • Refusing a request from a tenant with a disability for closer parking.
  • Denying maintenance requests because of age.
  • Not providing the same services to an individual who filed a discrimination complaint in retaliation for filing the complaint.
  • Denying a loan request based on factors such as sex.

 

FEDERAL HOUSING DISCRIMINATION LAWS

If you file a complaint with PHRC and your allegations are covered under federal laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), PHRC will file your complaint with HUD as well. Only one agency will conduct the investigation. However, federal law may afford you additional rights and remedies, which this dual-filing process protects. If, within one year after you file a complaint with PHRC, the complaint has not been resolved, or if the commission dismisses your complaint, you may bring action in a Court of Common Pleas.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES OF REALTORS, BROKERS AND AGENTS

Under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, neither you nor your designee may...

  • Steer or otherwise direct a property seeker's attention to a particular neighborhood based on the race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age, familial status or use of a support animal or because the user is a handler or trainer of support animals.
  • Volunteer information to or invite questions from property seekers concerning the race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age, familial status or use of a support animal because of the blindness, deafness or physical disability of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support animals.
  • Answer questions from or initiate a discussion with persons who are selling, renting or otherwise making housing or commercial property available concerning the race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age, familial status or use of a support animal because the user is a handler or trainer of support animals of prospective buyers, applicants or others seeking housing.
  • Engage in certain practices which attempt to induce the sale, or discourage the purchase or lease of housing accommodations or commercial property by making direct or indirect reference to the present or future composition of the neighborhood in which the facility is located with respect to race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, disability, age, familial status or a support animal dependency.
  • Engage in any course of action which could be construed as reluctant or delayed service having the effect of withholding or making unavailable housing accommodations or commercial property to persons because of their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age, familial status or use of a support animal.

 

FAIR HOUSING IS YOUR RIGHT!

For assistance filing a housing discrimination complaint, call toll-free, PA FAIR HOUSING HOTLINE, 855-866-5718.