Fair Housing

Fair housing is an issue of growing concern in Burlington. The city's population is increasingly diverse, and regional market conditions have had an increasingly significant effect on fair housing choice both within the City and within the surrounding region.  The city's Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice identifies the key housing barriers facing people who are in protected classes.

What is Fair Housing?

"Fair housing" is a term that comes from Title VIII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1968, known as the "Fair Housing Act."   The Fair Housing Act, as subsequently amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability).  In addition, Vermont provides even greater protection, adding the protected categories of sexual orientation, age, marital status, and receipt of public assistance.

Taken together, these state and federal legal protections prohibit unequal or unfair treatment in housing advertisement, rental of housing, housing sales, financing and insuring of housing or in terms or conditions contained in lease agreements or rules - written or verbal.   Both federal and state law provide remedies to people who are victims of housing discrimination.

For more information, or if you think you have been discriminated against, contact:

The Fair Housing Project of CVOEO 

Vermont Human Rights Commission 

Vermont Legal Aid

Fair Housing Videos

CCTV Productions has produced a video for the CVOEO Fair Housing project, and it will be used in training around the state for municipal leaders.  It describes the connection between fair housing and affordable housing.  Municipalities have a responsibility to promote fair housing and adopting planning and zoning rules that allow for the creation of affordable housing is one way to meet those responsibilities.  The video profiles projects in Middlebury and Tinmouth and features a discussion of Burlington's efforts to promote fair and affordable housing.  For more information, contact the CVOEO Fair Housing Project at 800-278-7971.   You can also view the video online.

Vermont Law Help has made videos focused on housing discrimination in English, French, Mai Mai, Nepali, Spanish, and Swahili to inform people about their offices, services, housing discrimination issues, and how they may be able to help. See below for the listed videos: 

Assessment of Fair Housing

In collaboration with the US Housing and Urban Development agency, the City of Burlington conducted an Assessment of Impediments to Fair Housing. The Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) is a legal requirement that the City and the Burlington and Winooski Housing Authorities must complete in order to continue receiving federal housing and community development funding from the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). The AFH includes an analysis of fair housing data, an assessment of housing issues and contributing factors, and identification of fair housing priorities and goals specific to Burlington, Winooski and surrounding areas. There are four main fair housing issues the City reviewed:


  • Patterns of integration and segregation;

  • Racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty;

  • Disparities in access to opportunity; and

  • Disproportionate housing needs.


The assessment process began with the provision of data, guidance, and an assessment tool to help the City and its partners identify fair housing issues and related contributing factors in their jurisdiction and region. The City and its partners set goals to overcome fair housing issues and related contributing factors. The goals informed subsequent housing and community development planning processes.

This assessment was designed to improve community planning in order to overcome fair housing issues. The process highlighted inclusive community participation and resulted in the setting of fair housing goals to increase fair housing choice and provide equal access to opportunity for all community members. The City and its partners plan to use the fair housing goals and priorities established in their AFH to inform the investments and other decisions made in their local planning processes.

We encourage the community members to review the AFFH mapping tool, and results from our Fair Housing survey listed below to better understand the fair housing challenges that face Burlington and its neighbors.


AFFH Mapping Tool

Fair Housing Survey