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Fair Housing

Federal

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are jointly responsible for enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National Origin
  • Familial status
  • Disability (sensory, mental or physical)
  • Use of a dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability when related to housing
    • Click here for more information regarding service animals

Washington State

In addition, Washington State prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of:

  • Marital status
  • Creed
  • Use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability
    • Click here for more information regarding service animals
  • HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C status
  • Sexual orientation (including gender identity)
  • Veteran/military status

Your rights and responsibilities

All inhabitants of Washington have certain rights and responsibilities under the Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60). Under the law, everyone has the right to be free from discrimination at work, in housing, in a public accommodation or when seeking credit and insurance.

Reasonable accommodations

In addition to the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Law Against Discrimination, landlords are also subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it comes to renting housing to individuals with physical disabilities.

Most apartments built since 1991 must meet ADA requirements. Structures built before 1991 require the landlord to make“reasonable accommodation”. This does not mean the landlord must pay to modify the unit to meet all the tenant’s desires. Rather, the landlord must allow the tenant (at tenant’s expense) to make modifications to the unit to meet his/her needs. At the conclusion of the rental period, the tenant must return the unit to its original condition, at the landlord’s discretion. Similarly, a landlord must allow a seeing eye dog in the unit of a visually impaired tenant, even though the lease contains a “no pets” clause.

More information

 

Have you experienced fair housing discrimination? Click here to learn how to file a complaint.

 

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Clark County Community Services: Vanessa R. Gaston, Director
Street address: 1601 East Fourth Plain Boulevard, Suite C214, Vancouver, WA 98661
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-9810
Main phone: (360) 397-2130 | FAX: (360) 397-6028
E-mail: Community.Services@clark.wa.gov
Community Services Fraud and Abuse Hotline
The Fraud and Abuse Hotline number is (360) 397-8030 and is for the reporting of suspected fraud or abuse related to payment for services. Messages may be left anonymously. To speak directly with the Department Compliance Officer, call (360) 397-2075 ext. 7819.
Responsible Elected Official: Board of Clark County Commissioners

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