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    What are my Housing Rights?

    The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. In Michigan, state law provides additional protection for age and marital status. Grand Rapids also has local ordinances that expand coverage for sexual preference and legal and verifiable source of income. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact one of the following agencies to file a complaint.

     


    Fair Housing Center of West Michigan
    20 Hall Street SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49507
    (616) 451-2980

    The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan works to ensure equal housing opportunities. The agency provides a variety of services directed toward education and enforcement, including investigating complaints of housing discrimination. The agency will work with victims of housing discrimination to ensure justice through advocacy, education, and litigation.


    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigates individual complaints of housing discrimination. If you believe you are a victim of discrimination, click here to learn how to file a complaint.  For additional information regarding the processing of individual claims of discrimination in housing, see the U.S. Department of Justice web site.


    Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan 
    678 Front Avenue NW, Suite 250
    Grand Rapids, MI 49504
    (616) 774-0121

    The Dispute Resolution Center provides facilitative mediation services to those wishing to resolve fair housing complaints. A trained neutral mediator can help the parties to the complaint formulate a mutually agreeable solution to the matter without going to court. Mediation is often used as a last step prior to court action. If you believe you are a victim of discrimination, contact the center by phone. Other housing complaint areas, such as landlord/tenant, contractor and housing loans, are also eligible for resolution through mediation. Services are either no cost or low-cost and do not require use of an attorney.


    Legal Aid of Western Michigan
    25 Division Avenue South
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    (616) 774-0672

    Legal Aid of Western Michigan provides free legal services in non-criminal cases to low-income and elderly residents. Legal services may relate to home purchases, negotiations with repair contractors, utility shut-offs, evictions, lead paint hazards, foreclosures, and other housing issues.


    Michigan Department of Civil Rights
    The Department of Civil Rights works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws and investigates and resolves discrimination complaints.