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

Some examples of what housing discrimination could sound like:

This property is adult only. We don’t rent to families with children.” Discrimination is rarely so obvious.

More often, people cover up discrimination by saying things like–

  • “This apartment isn’t big enough for your family.”
  • “We’ve changed our minds about selling.”
  • “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 designed parking space even though you are a wheelchair user. If we give you a designated space, everyone else will start asking for one.”
  • “The ad is wrong. The rent is $100 higher per month.”
  • “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 313-963-1274. (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

Proper training can prevent most, if not all, fair housing violations. There is no conflict between fair housing compliance and best practices in sales, rental and management of residential property. 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.


For a variety of reasons, some meritorious complaints cannot be resolved. We assist you in making the decision to file an administrative complaint with HUD or the MDCR or in retaining an independent, cooperating attorney to file your case in federal or state 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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