“We don’t rent to your kind.”
“You’re just not the kind of person we want here.”
“Only five people can rent a three-bedroom apartment under our rules.”
“Congratulations on the new baby. But since you’re in a one-bedroom apartment, you’ll need to move into a two-bedroom unit.”
“I’m sorry, but we’ll have to charge a pet deposit for your guide dog.”
“We have a separate waiting list for people in wheelchairs.”
“Families with children can only live in buildings near the back of the complex.”
The Fair Housing Program helps any person who has been discriminated against in the rental, sale, financing, or appraisal of housing. The state and federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability (mental or physical), or familial status. For Austin residents, additional protections include marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or status as a student. FHP documents and investigates complaints; provides advice about remedies under fair housing laws; and coordinates legal services to assist victims of housing discrimination. FHP provides fair housing seminars and presentations to interested groups.
What are the protected classes?
Federal and Texas laws prohibit discrimination based on the following protected classes:
- National Origin
- Disability (meaning a “physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of [a] person’s major life activities, a record of having such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.”)
- Familial Status.
For Austin residents, additional protections include marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and status as a student.
What happens if someone violates the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act is enforced by a variety of means and organizations. Violators may face an administrative complaint or a civil lawsuit in which damages may be sought.
The information in this brochure is a summary of the subject and other pertinent matters. It should not be considered conclusive or a substitute for legal advice. Unique facts can render broad statements inapplicable. Anyone needing legal assistance should contact an attorney.
Report By Phone
For an initial phone interview and/or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 512-474-1961. Lines are busy, and callers are encouraged to keep trying.
You can report housing discrimination online by just filling out a brief online questionnaire. After receiving your intake, a Fair Housing Advocate will reach out to you.
Fair Housing Program
The Fair Housing Program documents and investigates complaints; provides advice about remedies under fair housing laws; and more.