Fair Housing Initiative Program

Program Overview

Biases and prejudices in housing continue to exist in our community. At SERI we work to create a sustainable world where there is environmental justice and opportunity for all people. Limited-income and minority communities have the least access to resources, making them most at-risk to housing discrimination including rejection, unfair treatment in housing, and retaliation. Our goal is to create a more inclusive community and equal opportunity for all in housing.

For our third consecutive year, we have been awarded 125K in grant funding to help fight housing discrimination in the Tucson Metropolitan Area under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). We aim to help our community recognize possible signs of discrimination in housing and encourage compliance with the law. We provide education and outreach to the public, housing providers, and our local government on their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to help end discrimination. We provide fair housing educational material in English, Spanish, Swahili and Mandarin. Attend one of our free upcoming workshops to learn about your fair housing rights!

Have you been discriminated against in housing on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability? Contact our fair housing complaint inquiry hotline by calling (520) 306-0938 or completing an online form.

Back in 2021, we were awarded $20K in grant funding from HUD to address the COVID-19 pandemic through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). During disasters and emergencies, fair housing discrimination and violations increase. The most vulnerable groups in our community were those with disabilities and who were older. Through education and outreach we offered housing providers education on the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and how to comply.

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In 1968 the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was signed, making it illegal for people to discriminate in any aspect of housing based on an individual’s race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. These are known as the seven federal protected classes.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) applies to when people are renting, buying a home, seeking a mortgage, housing assistance, homeowners’ insurance, or engaging in any other housing-related transactions.

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability:

  • Refuse to rent, sell, or negotiate housing.
  • Otherwise make housing unavailable or discourage the purchase or rental of a dwelling.
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling.
  • Provide a person different or limit privileges in housing services or facilities of a dwelling.
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental.
  • Make, print or publish any notice, statement or advertisement of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination.
  • Impose different sales prices or rental charges for the sale or rental of a dwelling.
  • Use different qualification criteria or applications, or sale or rental standards or procedures.
  • Evict a tenant or a tenant’s guest.
  • Harass a person.
  • Fail or delay performance of maintenance or repairs.
  • Assign a person to a particular area of a building or neighborhood.
  • Profit, persuade, or try to persuade, homeowners to sell their homes by suggesting people of a particular protected class are planning to move into the neighborhood (blockbusting).
  • Deny access to or membership in any multiple listing service (MLS) or real estate brokers’ organization.
  • Refuse to provide or discriminate in the terms or conditions of homeowners insurance due to one’s protected class.
  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan or provide other financial assistance for a dwelling.
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans.
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees.
  • Discriminate in appraising a dwelling.
  • Refuse to purchase a loan.
  • Condition the availability of a loan on a person’s response to harassment.
  • Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising their fair housing right or assisting others who exercise the right.
  • Retaliate against a person who has filed a fair housing complaint or assisted in a fair housing investigation.

For more information and examples of what is prohibited under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), please visit Examples of Housing Discrimination.

  • “Your application has been denied.”
  • “There are no units available.”
  • “The advertisement is inaccurate. The rent is really $100 higher per month.”
  • “We only take people who speak English clearly.”
  • “Due to your background, we will need to collect additional documents.”
  • “You might be more comfortable living in a neighborhood with mosques.”
  • “Unfortunately, steps are all we have. We cannot accommodate a walker for you.”
  • “There are no accessible parking spaces in the building’s parking lot.”
  • “Sorry, our company has a strict policy of only sending rental payment notices to residents.”
  • “There’s a lot of traffic in this area. It isn’t safe for kids to live here.”
  • “The building patio is for adult-use only and you need to make sure your children do not violate the building rules.”
  • “We recommend you and your family rent on the first floor.”
  • “I’m sorry, but I’ve seen too many women change their mind about going back to work so your future income is not stable for receiving a loan.”
  • “Unfortunately, toilet and washer repairs are not available until next week.”
  • “Yes, but only if you go on a date with me.”

Program Partners

Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing

Website

City of Tucson Housing and Community Development

Website

Family Housing Resources

Website

Tucson-Tenants-Union
SWFHC

People’s Defense Initiative/Tucson Tenants Union

Website

Pima County Community Land Trust

Website

Southwest Fair Housing Council

Website

Paisanos Unidos de Tucson
Website

Child Parent Centers – Head Start
Website

How To File A Complaint With SERI

Have you been discriminated against in housing on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability? The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination against anyone who identifies themselves under the seven protected classes during housing transactions. If you have suffered housing discrimination speak up, you have rights! Contact our complaint inquiry hotline. We are here to help!

(520) 306-0938

hotline@seriaz.org

Online Form

We respond within 1 business day, are an Arizona Relay Friendly Service Business partner and take inquiries in all languages. After initial intake information we refer your inquiry to our program partner, Southwest Fair Housing Council (SWFHC). SWFHC assists clients with allegations of illegal housing discrimination, provides investigative assistance, counseling, mitigation of damages, and refers clients to housing resources in Arizona. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please contact us.

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For general inquiries please contact us at (520) 321-9488 or seri@seriaz.org.

Upcoming Events

Take a free workshop on your fair housing rights! For questions, please contact workshops@serizaz.org.

Disclaimer

This material is based on work supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under FHIP Grant FEOI220045 and FEO2100215. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HUD.