What Is Fair Housing?

Fair housing involves the rights that all people have to choose housing free from unlawful discrimination practices based on “protected class status.” Federal, state, and local fair housing laws all play a part in protecting people seeking housing from illegal discrimination in any housing transaction, including rentals, sales, lending, and insurance.

Fair housing ensures access for everyone. Fair housing guarantees that regardless of your race, sex, national origin, religion, family situation, or level of ability, you have the right to find housing that fits your needs — with no outside biases or stereotypes imposed upon you. By promoting fair housing through education and enforcement, the Fair Housing Council of Oregon creates welcoming, inclusive, and diverse communities that reflect all Oregonians.

Our Mission to Serve

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) is a statewide civil rights organization whose mission is to eliminate illegal housing discrimination and ensure equal access to housing choice through education and enforcement of fair housing law. We are a nonprofit corporation, not a governmental agency. Since 1990, we have promoted equal access to housing statewide by providing education, outreach, technical assistance, and enforcement regarding federal, state, and local fair housing laws. Our goal is to help Oregonians recognize the signs of housing discrimination and develop solutions to eradicate it from housing decisions.

FHCO not only assists renters and homebuyers who’ve been denied access to properties or provided different terms and conditions in the application process. We also work with property managers and rental agents to show them how easy it is to comply with fair housing laws, and we help policymakers and social service providers craft strategies and solutions that determine better outcomes for all Oregonians.

What Does Housing Discrimination Look Like?

Housing discrimination takes many forms — sometimes blatant, oftentimes subtle. It does not just affect residents when they first seek to rent, purchase, or finance a home, but applies to all housing transactions, including insurance, land use regulations, zoning decisions, and neighbor-on-neighbor harassment.






*All bus tours to date



The Fair Housing Council of Oregon advocates for tenants who experience illegal housing discrimination during the application process or while living in their rental home or apartment. We educate renters statewide about their rights under federal, state, and local law, and break down barriers to fair housing access through education and enforcement.

Learn More


Homebuyers might encounter illegal housing discrimination while searching for their new home, applying for a mortgage, acquiring homeowners’ insurance, or from neighbors after moving in. We work with buyers and sellers to understand their rights and obligations under fair housing laws, erasing a history of inequality and fostering equal access for all Oregonians.

Learn More

Housing Providers

Housing providers often have good-faith questions regarding their obligations and responsibilities under fair housing laws and whether their policies fall short of meeting these commitments. Our mission is to offer training materials and solutions so that landlords, property managers, and home sellers proactively promote and embody fair housing practices and inclusion.

Learn More

Social Service Providers

We partner with social service organizations statewide to educate their staff and clients on their housing rights and available resources to combat illegal housing discrimination. We offer resources and data for groups researching housing discrimination in Oregon and assistance with fair housing testing efforts to promote integrated and sustainable communities.

Learn More

Policymakers and Planners

Government bodies at the state, county, and municipal levels all have a stake in affirmatively furthering the goals of ending illegal housing discrimination and promoting housing justice, equity, and inclusion. From land use decisions and zoning laws to mapping out long-term housing policy, we assist agencies, boards, and councils to integrate fair housing strategies into the decision-making process.

Learn More


A woman from Mexico…

A woman from Mexico who spoke limited English applied to a Portland rental management company that required a lot of paperwork. The applicant’s daughter, who speaks English, assisted her in filling out the paperwork. After several months, the company informed the woman her paperwork was incomplete because she needed to sign a form explaining why the form was filled out in two different handwritings. In the meantime, the company had offered the apartment to another applicant. FHCO intervened, and the woman was able to get another unit in the building.

A Salem tenant…

A Salem tenant with a disability was denied a reasonable accommodation to have an assistance animal and received a termination notice for having the dog. FHCO sent a reasonable accommodation request on behalf of the tenant, and the landlord approved the request and rescinded the termination notice.

A family with young children…

A family with young children purchased a condo in the Portland metropolitan area. They were the first family with young children to move into the community. The homeowners’ association then adopted new rules targeting young children and limiting their activities. Additionally, a neighbor began yelling at the children when they played outside. FHCO stepped in, and despite the HOA denying any harassment, it agreed to remove the new rules.

A family in Dallas…

A family in Dallas with a Section 8 voucher applied to rent a house and was told that applicants with vouchers needed five times more income than their portion of the rent payment. Employed tenants were only required to show an income three times higher than the rent. FHCO interceded with the management company, and it adjusted this policy, making three times the amount of rent the standard income requirement, regardless of the source of income.

A La Grande woman…

A La Grande woman and her young disabled daughter were granted a reasonable accommodation request for an assigned parking spot close to the entrance to their apartment and a modification for an additional sidewalk to accommodate the daughter’s wheelchair. The housing provider made the modifications without consulting the tenant, even though the tenant tried multiple times to address the issues before construction began. The completed modifications did not meet the daughter’s needs. FHCO advocated successfully with the provider, who agreed to make the needed changes to accommodate the tenant’s daughter.


Celebrating Disability Pride Month

Celebrating Disability Pride Month

     Celebrating Disability Pride Month Did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? It celebrates the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July of 1990. In July of 2015, the first official celebration of Disability Pride Month took place,...

read more
Bus Tour Newsletter #22 – July 2022

Bus Tour Newsletter #22 – July 2022

    View this email in your browser Did you know that the last week of June was Middle Housing Week?  So, what is “middle housing,” anyway? The term “missing middle housing” was coined by the author, David Parolek, in 2010 and includes buildings such as duplexes,...

read more
Summer 2022 Newsletter

Summer 2022 Newsletter

View this email in your browser Message from our Executive Director Executive Director, Allan Lazo As we approach the start of the summer, our Executive Director, Allan Lazo, recognizes the importance of celebrating Juneteenth and PRIDE this month.Though the...

read more
Bus Tour Newsletter #21 – June 2022

Bus Tour Newsletter #21 – June 2022

    View this email in your browser On Sunday, June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day,” as it commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is short for “June Nineteenth," the date that the news of the federal abolition of...

read more
en English