Did you know our discrimination hotline receives around 2,000 calls a year? Through our hotline, we help individuals and families who may be experiencing illegal housing discrimination.
Housing discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their race, national origin, sex, disability or other protected class. Discrimination may look like:
- A mixed-race couple lied to about a vacancy
- A young single mother who speaks very little English and is experiencing sexual harassment by maintenance staff
- An individual with a disability being denied an accommodation, such as a parking spot close to their unit
- A tenant finding notes under their apartment door from a neighbor with comments like, “go back to your country – we don’t want you here”
- Someone being evicted because the landlord finds out they have a same sex partner
If you or someone you know experiences one of the above situations or another instance of discrimination, you can call our hotline at (800) 424-3247 ext. 2 on Fridays from 9am-12pm, or email us at email@example.com during normal business hours.
After you contact us, we will listen to your situation and determine how best to assist. Assistance may include:
- A referral to one of our partner organizations if your complaint is a landlord-tenant issue
- Direct advocacy to your housing provider, which could include drafting an advocacy letter or a reasonable accommodation request on your behalf
- Helping you file a complaint with Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Connecting you with a lawyer who can help you file a lawsuit in state or federal court
Here’s a summary of some recent cases that have come through our hotline:
- An individual contacted FHCO with concerns of discrimination based on race. The individual had been receiving hostile notes and verbal harassment that included threatening racial slurs. The individual had complained to management but felt his complaints were dismissed. FHCO contacted the housing provider and explained their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act to address tenant-on-tenant harassment based on protected class. The housing provider responded by stating they added security to the individual’s floor and issued an anti-harassment notice to all units.
- An individual contacted FHCO with concerns that their property management company switched to electronic-only rent payments that did not allow for split payments for recipients of Section 8 or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) amidst COVID-19. The individual needed a reasonable accommodation request to continue to provide split payments related to an SSDI payment and an individual money order payment that they send for the remainder of the rent. FHCO drafted the reasonable accommodation request, and the individual was granted the ability to continue submitting split payments related to their source of income and disability.
- An individual contacted FHCO because they had been continually denied housing based on an eviction that related to domestic violence. The individual was homeless, a single mother with three children, and had otherwise good rental history and credit. FHCO sent an appeal to a housing provider who had denied the individual, providing additional documentation related to the domestic violence incidences associated with her eviction, and explained the housing provider’s responsibilities under Oregon fair housing laws regarding domestic violence survivorship. The housing provider agreed to rescind their denial and approved the individual. Her family has since secured housing at the property.
Learn more about your fair housing rights and responsibilities as a tenant: https://fhco.org/index.php/information-for-housing-consumers