W here you live impacts you and your family’s access to good jobs, high quality education, reliable transportation, healthy food, government services, healthcare and even personal safety. Further, you should be able to seek refuge in your home free from harassment. Housing discrimination interferes with your ability to find a home that meets your needs in a neighborhood that offers opportunity to you and your family. It also reinforces longstanding patterns of segregation that are at the core of American inequality.



There are many things to consider when finding a home, discrimination shouldn’t be one of them.

T he ERC is the only private fair housing organization dedicated to serving the entire greater Washington DC region and may be able to assist individuals in the area who believe they have experienced housing discrimination. We are also available to assist with preparing requests for reasonable accommodations and modifications, and with assisting you in filing an administrative complaint. If you believe you’ve experienced housing discrimination in the greater Washington, DC region, contact us.

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status (presence of kids under 18 in a household). In addition, the greater Washington, DC region offers some of the most comprehensive fair housing protections in the country.

The federal Fair Housing Act protects against housing discrimination on the basis of your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status. In Maryland, there are additional statewide protections for marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. In Virginia, elderliness (55+) is protected.

Click here to see a complete listing of local protections by area.

In addition to our resources, you always have an independent right to file an administrative complaint on your own through the following agencies:



The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status (presence of kids under 18 in a household).

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status (presence of kids under 18 in a household).


Computer with screen of Making Home Accessible webpage

Making Home Accessible

People with disabilities deserve accessible housing, but making home accessible requires collaboration and compliance. The ERC has developed a series of resources designed to educate folks about the fair housing rights of people with disabilities, help housing providers comply with fair housing best practices, and empower people with disabilities to advocate for themselves. These include a toolkit about reasonable accommodations and modifications, FAQs targeted at housing providers, a template for third parties to use when verifying a person’s disability, a public service announcement about service animal fraud, and a one-pager explaining service and assistance animals under the FHA and ADA.

Equal Rights Center launches first ever fair housing accessibility app – the Fair Housing Checklist App.

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the new app transforms the ERC’s Fair Housing Checklist, also published under a HUD grant, into a dynamic mobile app. The app highlights the seven accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act and enables general contractors, architects, developers and other housing industry professionals to upload and toggle between multiple construction projects. Users can see measurements and diagrams for the requirements, track and save their up-to-date progress throughout the project’s duration, and email their progress at any time. The app is available in Google Play and Apple stores, and can be found by searching for the phrase “fair housing”. This app is designed to ensure that multifamily housing providers have the right tools to build accessible housing for individuals with disabilities right from the start.

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Equal Rights Center and Equity Residential Settle Litigation And Agree To Expand Accessible Housing

WASHINGTON, DC – January 5, 2016, In a settlement resolving a long-pending litigation, Equity Residential based in Chicago, Illinois, has reached agreement with the Equal Rights Center (ERC) – a national civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. – with respect to accessible housing for people with disabilities in Equity Residential communities.



How Fair Housing Helps People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Live Independently

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in housing against people with disabilities. However, discrimination persists, and may prevent people with I/DD to secure housing in the community. 

HUD Takes it Back to Basics in New Guidance on Assistance Animals in Hopes of Reducing the Number of Related Complaints

On January 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a notice on “Assessing a Person’s Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act,” (the Guidance). The Guidance provides “best practices for complying with the FHA when assessing requests for reasonable accommodations to keep animals in housing.”

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Proposed Rule Fails to Address Discrimination and Segregation

The proposed rule reverses many of the positive aspects of the 2015 rule and, instead of working to affirmatively further fair housing, would likely allow the further entrenchment of patterns of discrimination and segregation.

“She’s definitely African”: One Person’s Experience with Housing Discrimination

This landlord likely spent only a few seconds sending that text message, telling me I couldn’t apply at his property because he thought I was African. Yet those few seconds have dramatically impacted my last year. His racist assumptions about my desirability as a tenant resulted in me experiencing homelessness, to leave school before I could complete my associate’s degree and it has deeply hurt me emotionally.

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