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Fair housing

Fair Housing is the right to equal opportunity in housing choice and the right to rent or buy a dwelling free from discrimination.

The Federal Fair Housing Law is contained in Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act as amended. It states that it is illegal to discriminate in the rental, sale or financing of housing for of any of the following reasons based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and family status (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.).

Vermont has additional protections based on age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, receipt of public assistance, being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and denial of development permitting based on the income of prospective residents (9 V.S.A. § 4503).

Fair-housing laws also prohibit the federal, state, and local governments from undertaking actions that purposefully or inadvertently limit housing opportunities in unfair ways. A governmental action can violate fair housing even when officials do not intend to discriminate: A violation may be found when a disparate impact or burden results, even when unintended. Learn more about fair housing and municipal planning here.

Every five years the state Agency of Commerce and Community Development conducts an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing to identify barriers to fair housing choice in Vermont and recommend actions to overcome them. A comprehensive analysis was completed in 2012 and updated in 2017.

To  learn more about your rights, access resources in multiple languages, schedule trainings, and join the Thriving Communities campaign — a statewide initiative dedicated to promoting housing affordability and inclusiveness, contact the Fair Housing Project:

Fair Housing Project of CVOEO, (802) 660-3456 x 106 • fhp@cvoeo.orgwww.cvoeo.org/FHP

To file a housing discrimination complaint, contact:

  • Vermont Human Rights Commission, (802) 828-1625, 1-800-416-2010, 1-877-294-9200 (TDD), Hrc.vermont.gov
  • Vermont Legal Aid / Legal Services Vermont, 1-800-889-2047, vtlawhelp.org

For tenant rights and referrals:

CVOEO Vermont Tenants Hotline, (802) 864-0099, Vttenants.org, 

Download the “Fair Housing is Your Right” flier here: https://coordhousvt.egnyte.com/dl/WMhiIwAKxZ