Fair Housing – It’s Your Right!


Introduction

Fair housing refers to free and equal access to residential housing – i.e. housing choice. According to the federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status in the sale, rental, and/or financing of dwellings. Additionally, Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age (over 40) and the use of a support animal.

The City of Pittston, as recipient of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds through Pennsylvania’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DCED), complies with the federal Fair Housing Act. The City is committed to promoting fair housing choice for all persons.

fair housing pittston city



Fair Housing FAQ

What kind of housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act?

Most housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act. 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.

What are some examples of housing discrimination?

  • Refusing to rent or sell housing
  • Falsely denying that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • Setting different terms, conditions, or privileges for the sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Refusing to let disabled persons make reasonable and necessary modifications to a dwelling or common use area, at the disabled person’s expense
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Advertising or making any statement indicating a limitation or preference based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.

Who can I contact if I believe I’ve been discriminated against?

Complaints may be filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Forms for filing complaints are available here:

http://www.phrc.pa.gov/File-A-Complaint/ComplaintForms/Pages/Housing-and-Commercial-Property.aspx

Complaints related to discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status may also be filed directly with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Fair housing complaints can be filed with HUD by telephone (1-800-669-9777) or online:

https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint

Who can I contact for answers to other questions about fair housing?

Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Commission has a toll-free Fair Housing Hotline: (855) 866-5718 for questions related to fair housing and for assistance with filing fair housing complaints. Alternatively, Pittston residents can contact the Harrisburg Regional Office:

333 Market Street, 8th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-2210
(717) 787-9780
(717) 787-7279 TTY users only
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. M-F

HUD’s Regional Office in Philadelphia can also answer questions related to fair housing. The toll-free phone number for this office is (800) 799-2085. The mailing address and physical office is:

Philadelphia FHEO Center
100 Penn Square East, 12th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107