Race or Color

If you are denied an opportunity to rent a home or apartment—or given false information about a rental—because of your race or color, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat in-place residents or their guests differently because of their race or color.

The federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 provided equal rights to buy, sell, and lease land for all U.S. citizens, regardless of race. However, it was not until the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968—more than 100 years later—that the U.S. began making significant progress toward the goal of equal housing opportunity. Although we have made great strides, we still have a long way to go. You won’t see “Whites Only” signs anymore, but housing discrimination on the basis of race still exists.

Nowadays, race discrimination is often subtle—so subtle that victims may be completely unaware that they were rejected or treated differently because of their race or color.

If you suspect that you were rejected by housing provider, “steered” to a neighborhood or part of an apartment complex you would not have chosen for yourself, or treated badly by your landlord because of your race or color, contact FHLP.

FHLP Race Discrimination Flyer: English or Spanish

FHLP Cases Involving Race Discrimination

  • A Bay Area landlord with a rental property in Bakersfield learned that his White tenant had married a Black woman. The landlord told the White tenant, “I want that n- – -r out of my house!” and immediately doubled the couple’s rent in the hope of forcing them to move. The GBLA Fair Housing Law Project (FHLP) assisted the couple in filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and helped them reach a settlement with the landlord that met their needs.
  • Vandals wrote “N- – -r Lover” on the mailbox of a single mother in Bakersfield. The woman was White, and her children were biracial. Although this racially motivated graffiti was visible to the property manager and other residents of the apartment complex for weeks, the owner and management company failed to paint over it. FHLP assisted the woman in filing a HUD housing discrimination complaint and negotiated a settlement that included compensation for the family’s emotional distress.