The Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit offers a full spectrum of fair housing services. 

Fair Housing Complaints & Enforcement

The Center receives complaints of housing discrimination.  A Complaint may be made by any person who believes they are being or have been discriminated against. A complaint may be also made by someone else on that person’s behalf. Additionally, the Center accepts anonymous reports of suspected discrimination.

Many people are afraid to make a housing discrimination complaint for fear of being retaliated against or evicted. If complaints are not made, housing discrimination will not stop. It is unlawful for any housing provider or individual to retaliate against you because you made a housing discrimination complaint or assisted someone else in making a housing discrimination complaint. If retaliation occurs, you should call or email our office immediately.

 

The Center, as necessary, conducts its own investigation of the complaint. To assist the Center, you need to provide us copies of all records, emails, text messages, pictures, recordings, videos, and other documents relating to your complaint.

 

Our investigation may include the use of testing. Testing can produce important evidence in support of your complaint. If you file a complaint directly with HUD or the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) you will not have any testing evidence to support your claim.

 

You should not tell your landlord that you have contacted our office. Doing so may hinder our ability to investigate and gather testing evidence.

 

We also assist complainants with disabilities in making requests for reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications.

 

At some point during our investigation or after its completion, we may help to resolve your housing discrimination complaint. When a fair housing violation is substantiated but unable to be resolved or conciliated, we may make a referral and forward evidence to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); file or assist in filing administrative complaints with HUD or the MDCR; or refer the complaint to an independent cooperating attorney. Though infrequent, the Fair Housing Center in certain circumstances may commence its own enforcement proceeding, either on its own or with one or more complainants.

 

Finally, the Fair Housing Center has never charged any complainant for its services. This is important. Well over 70% of the Center’s complainants are low- to moderate-income (LMI). LMI individuals and families have annualized incomes less than 50% of the median income by county (considered “low-income”) and annual incomes between 50%-80% of the median income by county (moderate-income). Further, the majority of the Center’s complainants are women, and often women with children. 

Education & Training

The Fair Housing Center provides a broad range of fair housing training, including compliance and best practices. Proper training can prevent most, if not all, fair housing violations. There is no conflict between fair housing compliance and business objectives. We assist housing providers in establishing and maintaining best practices in sales, rental, and management of residential property. Our training topics keep participants up to date on the current standards, policy statements and guidance, and recent court decisions including:

 

  • Emotional support animals, environmental illnesses, and hoarding.
  • Reasonable accommodations and modifications.
  • Addressing the needs of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community and Veterans.
  • Familial status and occupancy limits.
  • Use of criminal records, including Detroit’s new “Fair Chance” ordinance.
  • Medical marijuana.
  • National origin and alienage status.
  • Housing provider liability for tenant-on-tenant harassment.
  • Affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) requirements.
  • Sexual harassment in housing. 
  • Coverage of claims based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and transgender status.
  • Racial, ethnic, and religious harassment and hostile living environment.
  • Permissible and impermissible housing provider inquiries.
  • Housing for older persons.
  • Limited English proficiency.
  • Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements.

 

Each year, the Center trains housing providers, management companies, real estate agents and brokers, private, municipal and legal services attorneys, municipalities, tenants, and homeowners.

 

We also offer training in person and via teleconference.

 

On an informal basis, the Center is always available to answer fair housing and general housing-related questions.

Community Outreach

In addition to education and training, the Center participates in many community outreach activities. Oakland County and Royal Oak sponsored the Center with a booth at their annual Arts, Beats & Eats festival on Labor Day Weekend in Royal Oak. Thousands of visitors at the festival became aware of the Center and its work.

As a result of the Center’s involvement with Arise Detroit, the Center participated in this year’s Neighborhoods Day in Detroit’s Eastern Market. The Center also participated in a Halloween “Trick or Treat Off the Street” event, helping us connect with hundreds of local families, giving out candy, and making parents aware of their fair housing rights.

The Fair Housing Center had a booth at the annual Neighborhoods Rising Summit at Wayne County Community College’s Downtown Detroit campus. At the summit, the Center answered general fair housing questions and specific questions about gentrification.

 

 

Center staff participated in a three-day fair housing roadshow in Pontiac and Detroit where we provided education on various fair housing topics. The Center also participated in the “Evening of Remembrance” event by Ascension Healthcare Open Arms.

 

The Fair Housing Center regularly works with neighborhood groups, community organizations, and other service providers to help promote and achieve more racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

 

Advertisements

The Fair Housing Center places fair housing advertisements in print and electronic media. These ads inform the general public about their fair housing rights.

 

These ads also encourage victims of discrimination to report fair housing violations.

Current Fair Housing Issues

To stay current on fair housing issues, please review our News and sign up for our Newsletter.  

 

Landlord-Tenant & Housing Inquiries

The Fair Housing Center answers questions concerning other housing-related inquiries and complaints. These inquiries often involve landlord-tenant disputes and habitability issues. The Center may assist callers directly or refer them to other agencies or legal service organizations.

 

Helpful Resources

The following are links to helpful resources:

 

CDC Eviction Moratorium Assistant form

Detroit e-Brochure on Landlord-Tenant & Fair Housing Rights