Mills Realty
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Second Chance Rentals

Housing Discrimination

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Introducing the new beginning 2nd chance program

We have established a program that gives people a second chance to improve the quality of their lives.

Have you been arrested but not convicted and holding down a steady job?

Are you apart of a government program to help you get on your feet?

Do you have poor credit and hold down a good paying job and in the process of recuperating?

Are you considered a person of a different minority religious group?

If yes, well this is the place for you to get your start.

If you are discriminated against for other reasons, you will usually not be able to make a claim for housing discrimination. That is when the 2nd chance program comes into play.

Housing discrimination is discrimination based on protected class status, variously including race, gender, religion, ethnicity, age, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, marital status, or veteran status, in the realm of housing and real estate.

Three types of housing discrimination are

  1. Rental discrimination,
  2. Salesdiscrimination,
  3. Home Financing Discrimination (lending, mortgage)

In the United States, the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is charged with enforcing fair housing laws, based on the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Due to the tricky language of legalizing and crafty vocabulary, many landlords, even real estate professionals and management companies have been discriminating “Legally” utilizing loopholes in the system.

Property owners can turn down participants from rental assistant programs such as programs to help

Gay HIV men and women, Minority programs, mentally ill women programs and programs with the majority of its applicants being women or minorities.

Example: Just say that a landlord does not accept rental applicants from potential tenants who are a part of a program that helps HIV homosexual men. The landlord or realtor can easily say they do not accept rent from those programs because they will not pass the inspection or they just have not started working with those programs. Thus, case close.

We are here to change this mess!

The Mills Realty 2nd chance program does not use any tricky language or does not discriminate against people because of:

  • Credit
  • Background
  • Court Cases depending on the situation (Example: Murder and Rape of a child and suspected of more murder and rapes but not convicted will not be excepted for some rentals such as those with Children or next to a school )
  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Citizenship status
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation (including gender-related identity)
  • Age (40 and over)
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Marital or Familial Status (having children)
  • An order of protection
  • Unfavorable military discharge
  • Arrest record

Common examples of housing discrimination

There are many ways landlords can discriminate. For example, the landlord could:

  • Refuse to rent to you;
  • Make an apartment harder to get;
  • Mislead you about the availability of a rental unit;
  • Have terms of the lease or put conditions on renting that they do not have for other people;
  • Offer a reduction in rent in return for sexual favors;
  • Make sexual advances or demands;
  • Discriminate in the privileges, services or facilities provided at the apartment building or complex;
  • Discriminate in advertising for the apartment;
  • Threaten, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with you for exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who are exercising that right; or
  • Deny you a reasonable accommodation.

Disabilities and housing discrimination

Landlords may not discriminate against people with disabilities. This includes people who:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment which substantially hinders or impairs one or more of his or her major life activities;
  • Have a record of such an impairment; or
  • Are regarded as having such an impairment.

Examples of major life activities include caring for yourself, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, bathing, dressing, eating, interacting with others, reading, sitting, standing, sleeping, thinking, and concentrating.

The violation of any of these rights is housing discrimination:

  • With certain exceptions, a landlord cannot legally ask whether you have a “handicap, “or its nature or severity;
  • The right to have a guide, hearing, or support dog;
  • The right to make reasonable modifications to places they rent, if those modifications are necessary to let them use or enjoy the premises. Generally, landlords are not required to pay for these modifications, but they must allow them to be made at the expense of the tenant. If the building was financed with federal funds, however, the landlord must usually pay for the modifications. Examples of modifications include installation of a flashing light to enable a person with a hearing impairment to see that someone is ringing the doorbell; the construction of a ramp to enable a person in a wheelchair to enter the unit; the replacement of door knobs with lever handles for a person with severe arthritis; and
  • The right to request reasonable accommodations from landlords. This means reasonable changes or exceptions in rules, policies, practices, or services when this is necessary to allow a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use or enjoy the premises.

Filing a claim of housing discrimination

If you were the victim of housing discrimination, you can file a claim at one of the agencies below.

Each agency has different rules for the types of discrimination they handle, among other things. Learn more about Where to file a housing discrimination complaint.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): This is an option if the discriminatory action was made by the federal government.
Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR): If the discriminatory action happened in Illinois.
City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations: If the discriminatory action happened in Chicago.

Instead of filing with one of these agencies, you can file a complaint directly in state or federal court. This process often requires an attorney and usually takes more time and money.

Proving housing discrimination

There are three ways to prove housing discrimination.

First, the most reliable way is to show direct evidence. This could be a statement by a landlord that they don’t like people of a certain race, religion, ethnicity, or who have a disability.

Second is to show indirect evidence. This includes anything that suggests that the landlord was discriminating against you. This could be a statement or actions toward other tenants.

Third, discrimination may be proven by showing:

  • You are a member of a “protected class”
  • Your landlord harassed or treated you unfairly or differently based upon your protected class; and
  • People outside of the protected class were treated better.

Time limit for filing a claim of housing discrimination

If you were the victim of housing discrimination, and you want to file with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), or the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), you have one year from the last incident to file a claim. One claim may include different, separate incidents.

If you are filing with the Cook County Commission on Human Rights or the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, you have 180 days from the last incident to file a claim.

Military personnel and housing discrimination in Chicago

Chicago has laws that protect people who are on active duty, people who are in any reserve component of any branch of any state or federal armed forces, and veterans. This includes discrimination based on military discharge status.

These protections help prevent discrimination in employment, public accommodations, credit transactions, bonding, and housing.

If a landlord will not rent to you because you’re in the military, or if a landlord refuses to accept the G.I. Bill as payment for rent, you can file a complaint.

Similarly, if you were passed over for a job or a promotion because you are a current or former member of the military, you can file a complaint against the discriminating employer.


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