Preventing Housing Discrimination

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Preventing Housing Discrimination

When you go to look for a place to live:

Put together a reference sheet:
Include your employment history, rental history, references, etc. Use this sheet to fill out your housing application. This way, you have a record of the information submitted. If you are disqualified because of income, rental history, etc., you are able to refer back to the facts given to the landlord/manager.

Bring someone with you:
This person may serve as a witness should you experience discrimination.

Be aware of your surroundings:
Be able to describe the housing and facilities you are shown, notice other tenants and employees, etc.

Ask for a business card:
If no card is available, write down the person's name, title and phone number. It is important that you know whom you are talking to.

Ask for copies of rules and policies:
This is for your reference and possible evidence of an illegal housing practice.

Ask for marketing materials:
Compare this information with what was advertised or told to you about the housing you are seeking.

Ask for the location of vacancies and when you can move in:
Many places have a layout map for this purpose. Compare this information to your housing needs.

Pay close attention to what you are told:
Often, misunderstandings cause unnecessary hard feelings. Be sure you understand what you are told. Avoid second guessing.

If you are denied housing services, ask for the reason in writing:
If a written reason is not provided, write down the reason given for the denial. Documentation is the key to proving a discrimination case.

Record a detailed account of your experience. Ask the person you are with to do the same:
While it is fresh in your mind, write down your account of the discrimination, using exact dates, words and phrases as much as you can.