Fair Housing Rights
Federal and state fair housing laws make it illegal to discriminate in housing based on the following protected classes:
Race – A person’s race or the race of persons with whom one associates.
Color – A person’s skin color.
Sex – A person’s sex, including sexual harassment or intimidation.
National Origin/Ancestry – The country of one’s birth and/or the nationality of one’s ancestors.
Religion – A person’s religious beliefs or denominational affiliation.
Disability/Handicap – A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Family/Familial Status – Household composition, including the presence of children.
Age – Persons 18 years of age and older.
Marital Status – Married, single, divorced, widowed or separated.
Lawful Source of Income – A person’s legal means of income, including such subsidized forms as Social Security, Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation, etc.
Sexual Orientation – Heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality.
Domestic Abuse, Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims – Persons who have been or are victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking.
City and county fair housing ordinances may include additional protected classes. For instance, the cities of Madison, Milwaukee and Appleton, as well as Milwaukee and Dane Counties, have protected classes not included in state and federal fair housing laws. (See below for more information about these locally-protected classes.)
Do you suspect you were denied the opportunity to rent an apartment, buy a home, get a home loan, or buy homeowners insurance because of one of the characteristics listed above? Let us know – we can help.
A wide variety of discriminatory practices are prohibited by fair housing laws.
In the City of Madison and Dane County
Military Discharge Status – Type of military discharge, also including active duty status.
Physical Appearance – The outward appearance of any person.
Political Beliefs – A person's opinions concerning the social, economic and governmental structure of society and its institutions.
Student Status – Having or not having standing as an enrollee of a school or apprenticeship program.
Domestic Partnership – Two adults in a relationship of mutual support, who occupy the same dwelling as a single housekeeping unit, and whose relationship is of a permanent domestic character.
Tenant Union Association – Persons who form or are associated with a tenant union.
Gender Identity – Identifying or presenting oneself as male, female or androgynous, regardless of one's biological sex at birth.
Genetic Identity – Genetic information unique to the individual, including information about genetic tests. (City of Madison only)
Citizenship Status – The immigration status or citizenship of any person. (City of Madison only)
Section 8 Housing Vouchers – Participants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Nonreligion – Atheism, agnosticism, or other disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (City of Madison only)
Homelessness – the status of lacking housing, including having a shelter or transitional housing facility as a primary residence. (City of Madison only)
In the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County
Gender Identity or Expression is also a protected class, protecting a gender identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.
Military Service – Past or present membership in the military. (City of Milwaukee only)
Domestic Partnership – Having status in a domestic partnership. (Milwaukee County only)
Genetic Identity – Genetic information unique to an individual, including results of genetic tests. (City of Milwaukee only)
Homelessness – The status of lacking housing including being a resident of transitional housing or a supervised temporary living facility. (City of Milwaukee only)
Receipt of rental or housing assistance – Any form of financial contribution from a third party, including but not limited to housing choice vouchers, commonly known as Section 8. (Milwaukee County only)
In the Cities of Appleton, De Pere and Oshkosh
Gender Identity or Expression is also a protected class, protecting a gender-related self-identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.