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 PDF 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 of 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 Video

CCTV Productions has produced a video for the CVOEO Fair Housing project, and it will be used in trainings 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 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.