State and Local Laws Offer Additional Protection Against Housing Discrimination
Housing discrimination is illegal under both federal and state laws. Local laws may also provide additional protections against housing discrimination.
Local laws against housing discrimination may vary from one jurisdiction to another, but typically they prohibit discrimination based on certain characteristics such as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. Discrimination can occur in different stages of the housing process, including advertising, screening, renting or selling, and providing services related to housing. Some examples of discriminatory practices that may violate local laws include:
Refusing to rent or sell housing based on a person's protected characteristic
Imposing different terms or conditions on housing based on a person's protected characteristic
Providing false information or steering individuals away from certain neighborhoods or housing based on a person's protected characteristic
Failing to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, such as providing wheelchair ramps or allowing service animals
Harassing or threatening individuals based on a person's protected characteristic
State laws against housing discrimination may provide additional protections or remedies beyond what is provided by federal laws. For example, some states may prohibit discrimination based on additional characteristics, such as source of income, military status, or criminal history. State laws may also provide additional remedies, such as the ability to sue for damages or obtain injunctive relief. In some cases, state laws may also provide for administrative agencies to investigate and enforce housing discrimination claims.
It's important to note that local and state laws against housing discrimination can work in conjunction with federal laws, such as the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on certain protected characteristics in the sale, rental, and financing of housing. Local and state laws can provide additional protections and remedies beyond what is provided by federal law.
If you believe you have experienced housing discrimination, you should contact a local fair housing agency or an attorney who specializes in housing discrimination law. These professionals can provide guidance on your rights and options for pursuing a claim under local, state, and federal laws.