About

The Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan is a 501c3 non-profit organization providing fair housing services throughout the nine counties of Southwest Michigan since 2001.

Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan

Fair housing rights are assured by federal, state and local fair housing laws. These laws prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of specific “protected classes”, which include race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial status, disability, marital status, and age, among others protected by local laws. In particular, the federal Fair Housing Act, the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, and local fair housing ordinances provide the basis for fair housing protection throughout West Michigan. 

The Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan is committed to furthering fair housing efforts by promoting fair and equal housing opportunities for its residents. It is committed to highlighting the Fair Housing Laws, including Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976. By continuing to address discrimination in our communities and supporting programs that educate the public about the right to equal housing opportunities, the Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan strives to protect everyone’s right to choose housing free from any and all unlawful discrimination.

What is Fair Housing?
Fair housing can be defined as a condition in which individuals of similar income levels in the same housing market have a like range of housing choice available to them regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, age, gender, marital status, familial status, source of income, sexual orientation or disability.

What is Housing Discrimination?
Housing discrimination is unjust or prejudicial treatment of individuals, in the area of housing and real estate.

What Guarantees My Right to Fair Housing
The right to fair housing is assured by a variety of federal and state laws, primarily the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 and the  Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976, which make it unlawful to discriminate in renting, selling, financing, and insuring housing

What Should I Do If I Have a Complaint?
If you believe you have been denied housing or the opportunity to apply for housing contact the Fair Housing Center at 866-637-0733.

See timeline below for more information on fair housing laws. 

Federal Civil Rights Act of 1968 – Title VIII

April 11, 1968

Federal Civil Rights Act of 1968 – Title VIII

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, enacted April 11, 1968, is commonly known as the “Fair Housing Act” and was meant as a follow‑up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibited discrimination in housing, there were no federal enforcement provisions. The 1968 act expanded on previous acts and prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, religion, and national origin. This landmark piece of legislation provides for equal housing opportunities and makes it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Act was signed into law during the King assassination riots by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had previously signed Voting Rights Act into law.

Federal Fair Housing Act – Amendment 1974

April 4, 1974

Federal Fair Housing Act – Amendment 1974

The Fair Housing Act was amended to include sex as a protected basis.

Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976

April 4, 1976

Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976

This Michigan state law virtually mirrors the protection of the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1988, with the major addition of providing protection not only against discrimination in “housing” but in all real estate related transactions (including commercial real estate transactions). In addition to the seven federally protected statuses, the Acts prohibit discrimination based on age and marital status in housing.

Federal Fair Housing Act – Amendment 1988

April 4, 1988

Federal Fair Housing Act – Amendment 1988

The Act was amended again in 1988 to add protections for families with children and people with disabilities. The amendments also gave power to the Secretary of HUD to enforce federal fair housing laws.

Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – 1994

April 4, 1994

Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – 1994

VAWA is a U.S. Federal law providing programs and services including, protection for victims who are evicted from their homes because of events related to domestic violence or stalking.

Federal Civil Rights Act of 1866

April 4, 2018

Federal Civil Rights Act of 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866, enacted April 9, 1866, gives all citizens the same right as a white citizen to make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.

Get In Touch

Call us toll free at 866-637-0733 or use the form below to contact us for more information on our services, workshops, or to report suspected housing discrimination.

Toll Free: 866-637-0733   info@fhcswm.org   405 W Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo Michigan 49007

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