Know Your Rights: Fair Housing
Housing discrimination is illegal in nearly all housing, including private housing, public housing and housing that receives federal funding.
The Fair Housing Act protects you from discrimination whether you are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance or engaging in other housing-related activities.
In Chicago, we are committed to creating fair housing opportunities for everyone. Here are the local, state and national protections:
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT
Upholding Fair Housing values is all of our responsibility. Together, we can do more than just comply with the spirit of the act – we can seek to affirmatively further Fair Housing.
If you believe you have been a victim of discrimination in housing, we strongly encourage you to report it to the appropriate authority.
CHICAGO: FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
If the housing unit where the violation occurred is located within Chicago’s city limits, file a discrimination complaint at the Commission on Human Relations within 180 days. There is no fee to file, and you may either self-file via email or mail, or file a complaint in person with the assistance of an investigator. Click here to file and access available resources.
COOK COUNTY: FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE COMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
ILLINOIS: FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
If your rights have been violated under Illinois’ Human Rights Act, you may file a complaint with the Department of Human Rights. A charge of discrimination must be filed within 300 days after the alleged discriminatory action, or one year for a Fair Housing case. The processing of a charge filed with the Department involves several steps. Learn more about the process here.
UNITED STATES: FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD)
If you believe you have experienced discrimination in renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, obtaining housing insurance, seeking housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities, you can file a complaint with HUD. You can also file a complaint if you believe you have been denied an equal opportunity to participate in a HUD program. You may file online, via email or mail, or over the phone. Here’s what you need to know.
FILE A REALTOR® CODE OF ETHICS COMPLAINT
If you believe that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s) through the local REALTOR® association where the REALTOR® holds membership or participates in a REALTOR® association-owned/operated MLS. Learn more about filing a complaint here.
“REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” – Article 10, REALTOR® Code of Ethics