As landlords and property managers in Chicago, we have a legal and ethical obligation to provide fair housing. This means offering equal opportunities and treatment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status. Fair housing is not just a box to check—it should be a guiding principle for how we operate.
Compliance starts with educating yourself and your staff on fair housing laws. The Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance and Federal Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination in the rental, sale, financing, and advertising of housing. Make sure you understand what constitutes illegal discrimination and that your leasing agents and maintenance staff receive proper training.
Evaluate all applications objectively based on your posted criteria. Do not make assumptions or generalizations about individuals based on their background. Accommodate disabilities by allowing service animals and making reasonable unit modifications. Participate in rental assistance programs to help provide affordable housing opportunities.
Promote an open, welcoming, and inclusive environment. Discrimination can take subtle forms, so reflect on your policies and procedures to identify any barriers. Make fair housing visible by displaying posters and including a statement on your website and marketing materials.
Stay up to date with changes in the law. Fair housing protections are continually evolving to address new forms of discrimination. Regularly review updates from HUD, the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, and fair housing advocacy groups.
Upholding fair housing rights is not just a legal requirement—it's good business. By serving all members of our community, we are able to attract and retain good tenants, build positive relationships, and contribute to a just society. As Chicago landlords, we share the responsibility to make quality housing accessible to everyone. Fair housing is a commitment we must stand by.
Our doors are open, and we invite people from all walks of life to make their home with us. Fair housing for all—that is our vision and our promise as Chicago housing providers.
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