Fair Housing

Fair Housing Program

Are you a victim of housing discrimination? Apply for Help.

The Fair Housing Program at the Disability Law Center serves people in all protected classes who are facing housing discrimination from a landlord, realtor, or other housing provider. The federal protected classes are race, color, sex, national origin, familial status, religion, and disability. Utah law also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and source of income.  If you think you might have been a victim of housing discrimination based on disability, contact the Fair Housing Program at the DLC!

The Fair Housing Process

Usually, the first step to combating housing discrimination is to file an administrative complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency. If you want to file a housing discrimination complaint on your own, you can do so at the Utah Anti-discrimination and Labor Division (if the discrimination happened less than 180 days ago) or at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (if the discrimination happened between 180 and 365 days ago).

However, if you would like to speak with somebody on our staff, we are here to help (at no cost to you). Depending on the circumstances of your case, the DLC Fair Housing Team can provide the following services:

  1. Investigation: Investigative methods vary with each case. Some potential methods include witness interviews, public records searches, fair housing testing, canvassing, or legal research.
  2. Administrative Representation: The DLC can help you file an administrative complaint, and represent you throughout the process.
  3. Legal Representation in Federal Court: In very limited circumstances, the DLC may represent clients in a Fair Housing Act lawsuit in federal court.

If you do contact us about potential housing discrimination, here is what the process will look like:

  1. You will be asked to provide information about your experience to our intake team, who will conduct an initial evaluation. If the intake team finds the existence of possible discrimination, your case will be forwarded to a fair housing advocate or attorney.
  2. The fair housing advocate or attorney will contact you to discuss more details or your experience. Depending on your situation, the advocate or attorney will then conduct an investigation.
  3. In some situations, the DLC may file a housing discrimination administrative complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency (HUD or UALD). In other situations, the DLC may try to negotiate with your landlord to end the housing discrimination without further legal action.

The Administrative Process at HUD or UALD

  1. Initial intake information is provided to the agency, outlining your basic allegations of housing discrimination.
  2. The agency systematizes your intake information, and mails out an official housing discrimination complaint, which needs to be notarized and sent back.
  3. The agency conducts a preliminary investigation, and sets a date for mediation.
  4. At the mediation, both sides of the dispute sit down with an agency mediator. The point of this meeting is to resolve the housing discrimination claim without further legal action.
  5. If the mediation is not successful, the agency conducts a more detailed investigation.
  6. After this investigation, the agency issues a finding that there is either “cause” to believe housing discrimination occurred, or “no cause” to believe housing discrimination occurred.
  7. If the agency issues a “cause finding,” it can require your landlord to stop discriminating, take other measures, and issue fines up to $10,000 for a first offense.
  8. If the agency issues a “no cause finding,” there are several possible further steps in the appeals process.

Other Sources of Help

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DLC may not be able to help with every issue. However, we collaborate with and share information from many organizations. If we are unable to assist with your concern, we have a database of external resources and organizations who may have what you are looking for.