Our Mission and the Work We Do

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) is a statewide civil rights organization whose mission is to eliminate housing discrimination through access to enforcement and education. We are a nonprofit corporation, not a governmental agency.

We promote equal access to housing by providing education, outreach, technical assistance, and enforcement opportunities specifically related to federal, state, and local fair housing laws.

Fair housing laws apply to individual homes, duplexes, multifamily housing (apartments, condos, and townhomes), retirement housing, homeless shelters and other nonprofit housing, etc.

Fair housing laws affect all housing transactions including sales, rentals, mortgage lending, building and construction, home insurance, appraisals and inspections, etc.

It is essential the everyone be familiar with and must comply with fair housing laws! This includes: property owners, landlords and property managers, home sellers, sales agents and brokerage offices, multiple listing services, housing industry trade associations, builders and developers, condo and homeowners’ associations, mortgage lenders and appraisers, home insurance carriers, designated senior communities, long term care facilities, governmental jurisdictions, etc.

In addition, any employees or contractors who work for a housing provider must follow fair housing laws. Even housing consumers must comply. Your neighbors can’t, for example, harass or intimidate you because of your race, religious beliefs, etc.

What are Fair Housing Laws?

Historically and statisically, identifiable groups of people have received unfavorable treatment in housing transactions. In attempting to rent, buy, get a mortgage, or secure home insurance they have been denied, harassed, given less favorable terms and conditions, or experienced a lower level of service than other groups. As a result, fair housing laws were enacted to protect against illegal housing discrimination based on “protected class status.”

Do "Protected Classes" Get Special Rights?

The intention of federal, state, and local fair housing laws is to require that all individuals be given the same treatment, the same services, and offered an equal opportunity to live in a home of their choice. In other words, the same rights as everyone else--realize that all of us fall within one or more protected classes and are all, therefore, protected under the law! The only "special rights" are those provided to individuals with disaiblities in order to establish equal opportunity.

Federally Protected Classes:

race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, and disability.

State and Local Protected Classes:

Oregon's fair housing laws include the following protected classes: marital status, legal sources of income, and sexual orientation / gender identity

In addition, Oregon effectively created another protected class for domestic violence survivors by adding language to the state's Landlord Tenant Act found in ORS 90.449.

Oregon's fair housing laws can be found in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), Chapter 659A