Federal and state fair housing laws protect people from discrimination when trying to rent an apartment, buy a house, obtain a mortgage, or purchase homeowner's insurance. Fair housing requirements apply to all housing providers: property managers, owners, landlords, real estate agents, banks, savings institutions, credit unions, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, and appraisers.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:
- Familial Status
- National Origin
In addition to Federal laws, Virginia’s Fair Housing Law makes it illegal to discriminate in residential housing based on:
- Elderliness (55+)
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Military status
- Source of funds
Virginia law prohibits applying one standard to one class of individuals while applying a different standard to another category.
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the act exempts owner occupied buildings with no more than four units, single family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
Sale & Rental of Housing
In the sale and rental of housing, no one may take any of the following actions, based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin:
- Deny a dwelling
- Falsely deny that housing is available for sale or rental
- Make housing unavailable
- Refuse to rent or sell housing
- Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
In mortgage lending no person may take any of the following actions based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin:
- Discriminate in appraising property
- Refuse to make a loan
- Refuse to purchase a loan
- Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fair Housing / Equal Opportunity For All.
File a Fair Housing Complaint with the Virginia Fair Housing Office
The Virginia Fair Housing Office is responsible for investigating housing discrimination complaints.
Complaints must be filed in writing within one year after the alleged discriminatory housing practice occurred or terminated.
Visit dpor.virginia.gov/FairHousing or call (804) 367-8530 or (888) 551-3247 to learn more about your rights or file a complaint.
The City of Hopewell affirmatively furthers fair housing. If you would like assistance in lodging a complaint of discrimination based on race, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, or disability, please call the Department of Planning & Development at (804) 541-2220. Written information is available upon request.
Hopewell Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRHA) applicants or participants may also contact the HRHA Fair Housing Coordinator at (804) 458-5160 for information or to lodge a complaint.