What is fair housing?

Fair housing protects people from discrimination when they seek to rent or buy a home, obtain a mortgage or engage in other housing-related activities. Fair housing also refers to the right of a person to exercise their fair housing rights free from retaliation.


Fair housing also compels certain affirmative requirements by property owners and managers. One affirmative requirement is to grant disabled persons reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications. Another affirmative requirement is that new multi-family dwelling units must be built to be accessible to disabled persons.


An additional requirement is that programs and activities receiving HUD funding be administered in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing.

Examples of what housing discrimination sounds like:

Discrimination is rarely this obvious: “This property is adult only. We don’t rent to families with children.” More often, people cover up discrimination by saying things like–

  • “This apartment isn’t big enough for your family.”
  • “We’ve taken the house off the market.
  • “Sweetie, the apartment I told you about on the phone has just been rented.”
  • “The owner said no grab bars in the bathroom. He said they always cause water leaks.”
  • “We cannot give you a designated parking space even though you are a wheelchair user. If we give you a designated space, everyone will ask for one.”
  • “The ad is wrong. The rent is $100 higher.”
  • “We are not renewing your lease.”
  • “The owner does not rent to anyone with a felony.”
  • “I’ve had too many problems renting to people with mental disabilities.”

File a Complaint

If you suspect that housing discrimination is occurring or has occurred, or if you have housing-related questions, please contact our office.


There are four ways to contact our office:

F     Fax information to our office at 313-963-4817.


  Another way to make a fair housing complaint is to call our office at 313-579-FAIR (3247). (Most people call in their housing discrimination complaint.)


I      Info@fairhousingdetroit.org is the email address that you may use to let us know about housing discrimination or request other services.


R     Report housing discrimination by using the link below.

Our Services

Education & Outreach

We are a full-service organization when it comes to fair housing training. 


We also reach out to the general public on current fair housing topics through community outreach activities.


Following the intake of your complaint, we gather evidence to help determine whether discrimination occurred. Our investigation may involve the use of testing. We assist you in seeking an equitable and just resolution of your complaint.

Let us get to work on your complaint.


Some meritorious complaints cannot be resolved. We assist you in making the decision to file an administrative complaint with HUD or the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. We can also assist you in retaining an independent attorney on a contingency basis to file your case in court.

Latest News

We keep you up to date on fair housing events and topics, including recent changes in fair housing laws, guidance statements and recent court decisions. Make sure to sign up for our e-newsletter for the most immediate and up to date information.

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