Department of Housing & Community Development

Fair Housing Resources

What is "Fair Housing"

Fair Housing is the right to equal opportunity in the rental, sale, and financing of housing under federal, state and local laws.

Who is protected?

The Federal Fair Housing Act was part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. In 1988, Congress added familial status and disability to the categories protected under that law. Vermont's Fair Housing Act is similar to federal law with five additional protected categories: marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and receipt of public assistance

Rental Discrimination in Vermont

VPR Vermont Edition “Rental Discrimination by the Numbers”: Host Jane Lindholm speaks with Housing Discrimination Law Project Director Rachel Batterson about the findings of a recently released report about rental discrimination in Vermont. Then Angela Zaikowski, owner of the Vermont Apartment Owners Association and Ted Wimpey, Fair Housing Project director for the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, discuss Vermont’s fair housing laws and steps to reduce rental discrimination.

Fair Housing Month

April is Fair Housing Month. Read the Proclamation for Fair Housing Month 2015.

Housing and Communities Show: Vermont HUD Field Officer Mike McNamara and Karen Richards (now State Human Rights Commissioner) and Rachel Batterson from Vermont Legal Aid discuss the Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Month following a screening of the film "A Matter of Place" on CCTV.

Vermont Affordable Housing Show: Ted Wimpey and Erhard Mahnke of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition discuss Fair Housing on CCTV.


Fair Housing Project
The CVOEO Fair Housing Project (FHP) works to eradicate housing discrimination in Vermont through education, outreach and enforcement of fair housing laws. The FHP has conducted several studies funded by HUD on fair housing rental and sales practices in Vermont. The FHP advocates for victims of discrimination and conducts screening to help determine whether or not a case has merit and makes appropriate referrals to enforcement agencies. In addition, the FHP has created public awareness campaigns including bus advertisements, radio and televised public service announcements, and educational trainings.
CVOEO Fair Housing Handbook (pdf)

Vermont Human Rights Commission
Vermont Human Rights Commission enforces a number of anti-discrimination laws including the Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, and Fair Employment Practices Act (when the employer is a State agency). The Human Rights Commission can be reached at 1-800-416-2010.

The Housing Discrimination Law Project, a project of Vermont Legal Aid, Inc. conducts fair housing testing; investigates housing discrimination complaints; represents individuals and groups in housing discrimination cases; conducts fair housing training and education; and advocates for inclusive, sustainable communities.  It also makes referrals to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Vermont Human Rights Commission. For more information about fair housing law, visit Vermont Law Help or call 1-800-889-2047.  

Vermont Center for Independent Living
VCIL's mission is to empower Vermonters with disabilities, deaf Vermonters, and others to tear down the physical, communication, and attitudinal barriers that keep us from realizing our full human potential.

Fair Housing Newsletters

Every issue of Vermont Fair Housing Newsletter (from the Vermont Human Rights Commission) includes "Around the Nation", "Recent Vermont Cases", and Online Fair Housing Resources.

Winter/spring 2015 Newsletter - Reasonable modifications

Spring 2014 Newsletter - Vermont's changing demographics

Fall 2013 Newsletter - Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
Spring 2013 Newsletter - In Memory of Julie Kelliher, Fair Housing Month

Fall 2012 Newsletter - Is that a Landlord Tenant Issue or Fair Housing Issue? 
Summer 2012 Advocate - Housing Rights of Families with Children
Spring 2012 Newsletter - Answers to Readers' Questions
Winter 2012 Advocate - Draft Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

Fall 2011 Newsletter  - What is a dwelling?
Summer 2011 Advocate  - Fair Housing, Land Use Planning, and You
Spring 2011 Newsletter  - Service and Assistant Animals
Winter 2011 Advocate  - HUD Grants Vermont Agencies $450,000

Fall 2010 Newsletter  - Burlington's Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
Summer 2010 Advocate  - HUD Addresses Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Spring 2010 Newsletter  - Reasonable Accommodations
Winter 2010 Advocate - Service Animals and Insurance Policies

Fall 2009 Newsletter  - What is Your Fair Housing IQ?
Summer 2009 Advocate  - $62.5 Million Westchester Settlement
Spring 2009 Newsletter  - Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications

Know Your Rights!  The following two documents explain the rights of the elderly and people with disabilities in mobile home parks, and the rights of people with disabilities to have assistance animals.
"Mobile Home Parks and Vermont's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act"
"Assistance Animals in Rental Units"

Read the 2012 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice in Vermont

Fair Housing Workshops for Municipalities

Visit the VCDP Workshops page

Shaun GilpinHousing Policy Specialist

Arthur Hamlin, Housing Program Coordinator - Mobile Home Parks