Make housing providers aware of the law
Many housing providers are not aware that it is illegal for them to turn someone away because they are LGBT or do not conform to gender stereotypes. Simply making a provider aware of the law may resolve the problem. However, if an issue cannot be resolved informally, you may file a complaint of housing discrimination.
File a complaint of housing discrimination
If you have experienced one or more of the forms of discrimination described above, —or you believe you may be subject to a discriminatory act such as an eviction—you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Depending on the facts of your situation different laws may apply, which may be enforced by different federal, state, and local government offices. Because it may be difficult to determine which laws may apply to your situation, NCTE currently recommends that all LGBT-related fair housing complaints be directed to HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. An attorney is not required, and most complaints are resolved without going to court.
A complaint generally must be filed with HUD within one year of a discriminatory action. If you experience discrimination because you are transgender, make sure to state that you believe you experienced discrimination based on sex. Provide as much detail as possible. Write down the date, time, location, witnesses, and people involved in any events that were discriminatory or disrespectful. Also keep any documents the discriminating entity gives you.
Once you file a report of discrimination, a HUD representative will contact you to determine whether the agency can undertake a formal investigation. If you do not get a response, you can follow up at the office you initially contacted.
If you have experienced housing discrimination, you can report it to HUD by telephone, mail, or online, at no cost. To report discrimination you can either:
The Fair Housing Act also permits you to bring a lawsuit in federal court against a housing provider that has engaged in discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, or disability. You do not need to file a complaint first to do this. However, a lawsuit can be a lengthy and expensive process and it may be difficult to succeed without an attorney. Alternatively, if you file a complaint with HUD and the agency does not find reason to believe discrimination occurred, you can later file a lawsuit in federal court. A full explanation of the Fair Housing Act complaint process can be found at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/complaint-process.cfm.