Fair Housing and Discrimination
It is the policy of the City of Naperville that all individuals shall have an equal opportunity to purchase, own, lease and occupy housing within the City without being discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, familial status, physical or mental handicap or disability, military status, sexual orientation, or legal source of income. It is also the policy of the City that members of these protected classes shall have the right to be free from discriminatory practices when engaging in real estate transactions and seeking access to financial credit for real estate transactions.
The City’s Fair Housing regulations are located in Municipal Code Section 10-5. In the fall of 2016, the City Council approved a text amendment to Section 10-5-2 (Definitions) defining Legal Source of Income. Additional information about Legal Source of Income and Housing Choice Vouchers is available here.
If you feel you have been discriminated against by a landlord, property manager, real estate agent, home loan officer, housing developer or insurance agent regarding a housing-related transaction, you may file a complaint with the Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission (HRFHC). The complaint must be filed within 90 days of the alleged unlawful act that forms the basis of the complaint. Each complaint is reviewed by the HAC to determine if a violation of the City’s Fair Housing Ordinance occurred. The complete procedure for processing complaints with the HRFHC can be reviewed online.
To file a complaint or contact the Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission:
- E-mail a completed complaint form (.docx) to firstname.lastname@example.org OR mail a completed complaint form to:
City of Naperville
Attn: Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission
400 S Eagle Street
Naperville, IL 60540
- Contact the HRFHC staff liaison at email@example.com or (630) 305-5315.
- Attend an HRFHC meeting, usually held on the first Monday of every other month at 6:30 p.m. at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. Please check the HRFHC meeting information or contact the HRFHC Staff Liaison to confirm the meeting time and date.
Examples of Housing Discrimination
Acts that violate the fair housing law when based on a person's affected class include, but are not limited to:
- Refusing to negotiate for the sale or rental of a dwelling.
- Making different terms and conditions for buying or renting a house or apartment.
- Advertising to suggest that housing is only available to certain groups: “This particular building is for adults only” … but you have a family and children.
- Denying that housing is available when it is available: “I rented the apartment right after you called” … but you know a vacancy exists.
- Discriminating in real estate-related transactions.
- Threatening, coercing, intimidating or interfering with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting another person exercising that right.
- “You can’t put a ramp here” … but you need alternative accessibility.
- “I can approve this loan, depending on what you can do for me, honey…” this is an example of sexual discrimination.
- “This neighborhood is really only for families and children” … this is discrimination against age and marital status.
- “I can’t rent to you until I see your Green Card” … discrimination against national origin is illegal.
When searching for a place to live, write down:
- Name of manager/agent
- Address of the building
- Apartment number, if applicable
- Number of bedrooms
- Personal information requested of you
- When the unit will be available
- Ask the amount of rent and deposit
- Ask the date the unit is available
- Take a simple “no.”
- Act angry or threaten to sue