OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued an alert reminding tenants of their fair housing rights and protections. A number of state and federal laws prohibit discrimination in housing based on a person’s race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other protected characteristics. In today’s alert, Attorney General Bonta highlights some key aspects of these protections.
“Tenants have rights under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and other laws that protect against many forms of housing discrimination. With the housing shortage and affordability crisis facing our communities, it is crucial that tenants know and are able to utilize their rights,” said Attorney General Bonta. “My office is committed to using all the tools we have to address the housing crisis — and stopping housing discrimination is an essential part of that effort.”
Prohibited Forms of Discrimination
Under state and federal fair housing laws such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Unruh Civil Rights Act, Fair Housing Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tenants are protected against illegal discrimination imposed by housing providers, such as landlords, master tenants, and property managers. Below are five examples of prohibited discrimination (note that this is not a complete list):
If you believe that you are a victim of housing discrimination, you may file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing here. You may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development here.
Additionally, you can find legal assistance through the National Fair Housing Alliance by locating your local fair housing center here. Resources and legal assistance are also available through LawHelpCA, and can be found here.
Attorney General Bonta is committed to advancing housing access, affordability, and equity in California. Earlier this month, Attorney General Bonta announced a $3.5 million judgment against Wedgewood, a Los Angeles county-based real estate investment company, resolving allegations that Wedgewood unlawfully evicted tenants from properties purchased at foreclosure sales. Last month, he announced the creation of a Housing Strike Force within the California Department of Justice and the convening of a series of tenant roundtables across the state. The Housing Strike Force encourages Californians to send complaints or tips related to housing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attorney General Bonta also launched a Housing Portal on DOJ’s website with resources and information for California homeowners and tenants.