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Enforcement of fair housing laws overview

Fair housing laws are most effective when they are well-understood and consistently and robustly enforced.

Among other things, enforcement requires having a clear process through which community members can file complaints if they believe they have been victims of housing discrimination, a mechanism to investigate complaints, and a commitment to following through and obtaining legal remedies when warranted. Robust enforcement also involves proactive measures to ensure real estate professionals and other stakeholders are acting in compliance with fair housing laws. For example, some cities, towns, and counties conduct periodic testing to compare how landlords respond to two otherwise identical applicants when one is a member of a racial or ethnic minority group, has a disability, or has other protected characteristics.

Additional Resources

Administering agencies

State and local housing departments, human rights commissions. Local non-profits and legal aid offices

Policy objectives

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