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Fair Housing & Discrimination
Fair Housing is the right to equal opportunity in housing choice and the right to rent, buy, finance, and live in a home free from discrimination or harassment.
Housing discrimination is illegal in Vermont. Specifically, it is against the law to deny anyone housing because of their:
- National Origin
- Sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity
- Disability (mental or physical)
- Family status
- Marital status
- Receipt of public assistance (including Section 8 and other housing vouchers, 3SquaresVT, etc.
- Status as a victim or survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
This also covers harassment, including sexual harassment, and the denial of development permitting based on the income of prospective residents.
If you have been treated unfairly based on any of the protected categories listed above when renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, obtaining housing insurance, seeking housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities, then you may have experienced illegal discrimination. Select "Get Help" below to learn more.
Discrimination is not always obvious and can take many forms. It may happen when a landlord refuses to rent you an apartment, tells you it is unavailable when it is vacant, steers you toward a different location, or if the terms and conditions of your lease are different from those of the landlord’s other tenants. Illegal discrimination can also happen in advertisements.
Have you been treated unfairly when renting, buying, financing an apartment or house, or while living in your home?
Contact us to discuss your situation and your options: email@example.com or 802-660-3456 Ext. 106.
If you would like to file a formal fair housing complaint, contact:
- Vermont Human Rights Commission (complaints, investigation, conciliation, education): 802-828-1625, 1-800-416-2010, or 1-877-294-9200 (TDD)
- Vermont Legal Aid/Legal Services of Vermont (free legal advice, referrals, eviction support, education): 1-800-889-2047
- U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of VT (complaints – especially sexual harassment in housing): Email usavt.ContactUs1@usdoj.gov
- United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) (complaints, investigations, referrals): 1-800-827-5005 or 617-994-8200
Community Housing Discrimination Survey
Please take few minutes to tell us about any discrimination or harassment you have faced in this survey. This survey is confidential and for research purposes only. Filling in this survey does not register a formal fair housing discrimination complaint. The results will inform policy makers, housing providers, advocates, and educators and help ensure fair and equitable housing choice for everyone.
The Guide to Fair Housing in Vermont covers the basics of Vermont and Federal Fair Housing Law. Click on your desired language to download the guide.
English - Arabic - Burmese - Chinese - French - Nepali - Somali
Fair Housing Guide for Landlords
The Fair Housing is Your Right handout gives a basic overview of Fair Housing protections and what to do if you experience illegal discrimination in housing. Click here to download the handout.
- Information and videos in multiple languages from the Vermont Human Rights Commission
- Information, brochures, and videos in multiple languages from Vermont Legal Aid
- Detailed descriptions of types of discrimination and what to do from Legal Services Vermont
Find recordings of webinars, workshops, trainings, and special events here, including Tenant Tips, Fair Housing Fridays, Mobile Home Program trainings, and more.
We offer workshops and trainings for housing and service providers, municipal officials, and the public. The interactive sessions are currently being held via Zoom. Please contact us for more information and scheduling.
Each session is tailored to the needs of the group and covers:
- History of the Fair Housing Act and the resulting protections under Federal and Vermont law
- How and when fair housing law applies in Vermont, exemptions, the complaint and investigation process, and remedies
- Access requirements for people with disabilities, including reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications
- Best practices
Other offerings include workshops on Planning for Affordable, Inclusive Housing (Vermont's housing landscape and planning tools with a fair housing focus), community housing discussions, housing committee consultations, and more!
Thriving Communities is a statewide campaign to raise awareness about the economic and social benefits of affordable, inclusive housing.
Vermont has a housing shortage. All over Vermont families are paying more than they can afford in rent, people can’t find homes to purchase within their price range, employers have a difficult time hiring because prospective employees can’t find housing, and there aren’t enough quality housing options for a variety of incomes. This housing shortage puts a greater burden on marginalized communities by reducing opportunity and increasing the likelihood of discrimination.
Local planning and zoning policies and regulations play an important role in ensuring an adequate supply of safe, inclusive, affordable homes. Many communities are actively involved in identifying local housing needs and finding local solutions through Housing Committees.
Whether it’s a municipally-supported committee, subcommittee of the planning commission, resident advocacy group, housing discussion meet-up, or any other group that seeks to support or change the quality, quantity, affordability, and/or inclusiveness of housing in a community, a local Housing Committee can be an effective tool for addressing affordable housing needs and promoting equity in housing opportunity.
To support Housing Committees across the state, we have partnered with Vermont Housing Finance Agency and Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) to create an online Housing Committee Toolbox, which includes success stories, best practices, and resources for existing committees and communities who want to learn more. This resource is intended to stimulate community conversations, local leadership, and policy change, as needed, to increase inclusive, fair, and affordable housing.
Each April, we join a statewide network of housing, community, and arts organizations to celebrate the 1968 passage of the Fair Housing Act with a series of free public education and art events. Virtual and in-person activities include workshops, webinars, community discussions, presentations, library events, and the all-ages HeART & Home Community Art Project.
Contact Outreach Coordinator Corrine Yonce if
you would like to get involved with Fair Housing Month.
CVOEO coordinates April Fair Housing Month activities in collaboration with Burlington City Arts, Burlington Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO), Burlington Office of Racial Equity Inclusion and Belonging (REIB), Junction Arts Media, ONE Arts, Randolph Community Development Corporation, RuralEdge, Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, Vermont Department of Libraries, Vermont Human Rights Commission, Vermont Legal Aid, Vital Communities, and White River Valley Consortium. These activities are made possible through the generous sponsorship of Farrell Properties, CEDO, REIB, Champlain Housing Trust, Redstone, Vermont State Housing Authority, Evernorth, Main Street Landing, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Cathedral Square, and Pomerleau Real Estate.
The Fair Housing Project is supported by funding under a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of this work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 802-660-3456
The Fair Housing Project is one of CVOEO's statewide Housing Advocacy Programs. We work to eradicate illegal housing discrimination and increase housing opportunity and choice in Vermont.
Contact us for consultations, referrals, education, local housing committee support, and assessments and training related to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and developing inclusive, affordable housing.