Madison County Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) protects people from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status. In addition, housing providers that receive HUD funding, have loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), as well as lenders insured by FHA, may be subject to HUD program regulations intended to ensure equal access to LGBT persons.
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status (i.e., presence of children in the household). The Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. However, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person's experience with sexual orientation or gender identity housing discrimination may still be covered by the Fair Housing Act. In addition, housing providers that receive HUD funding, have loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), as well as lenders insured by FHA, may be subject to HUD program regulations intended to ensure equal access of LGBT persons.
One type of disability discrimination prohibited by the Act is the refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations are necessary to afford a person with a disability the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
The Fair Housing Act’s protection against disability discrimination covers not only tenants and home seekers with disabilities but also buyers and renters without disabilities who live or are associated with individuals with disabilities. The Act also prohibits housing providers from refusing residency to persons with disabilities, or placing conditions on their residency, because they require reasonable accommodations. Since rules, policies, practices, and services may have a different effect on persons with disabilities than on others, treating persons with disabilities exactly the same as others will sometimes deny them an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
More information on Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act
As HIV/AIDS disproportionally affects the LGBT community, it is important to note that HIV/AIDS is protected under the Fair Housing Act as a disability.
If you believe you have experienced (or are about to experience) housing discrimination, you should contact HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for help at (800) 669-9777. You may also file a housing discrimination complaint online. HUD will thoroughly review your allegation to determine if the claims you raise are jurisdictional under the Fair Housing Act.
Additionally you should contact your local HUD office for assistance with alleged violations of HUD programs regulations.
Finally, many state, city, and county laws specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. You may wish to contact your state or local human rights agency to determine coverage under those laws. Below is a list of states, of which HUD is aware, that specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity in their state fair housing laws. We have also identified the corresponding state human rights enforcement agency. HUD does not warrant this list as current or comprehensive.
In Illinois, call the Illiniois Department of Human Rights, (312) 814-6200.