We work to stop housing discrimination, ensuring equal housing opportunities for all people in the City and County of San Diego; through outreach, education, and enforcement of Federal and State Fair Housing Laws.
It is illegal for a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson to discriminate against any person because of their: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related thereto, as well as gender and perception of gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, medical condition, or age.
If you feel like you have been discriminated against based on one or more of the protected characteristics, contact us to learn about your rights.
How To Get Help
Call our Fair Housing Center:
Housing Discrimination can occur in any of the following ways:
- Refusing to sell, rent, or lease.
- Refusing to negotiate for a sale, rental, or lease.
- Representing that housing is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when it is, in fact, available.
- Otherwise denying or withholding housing accommodations.
- Providing inferior housing terms, conditions, benefits, facilities, or services.
- Harassing a person in connection with housing accommodations.
- Sexual Harassment.
- Canceling or terminating a sale or rental agreement.
- Providing segregated or separated housing accommodations.
- Refusing to permit a person with a disability, at the person with a disability's own expense, to make reasonable modifications to a rental unit that are necessary to allow the person with a disability "full enjoyment of the premises." As a condition of making the modifications, the landlord may require the person with a disability to enter into an agreement to restore the interior of the rental unit to its previous condition at the end of the tenancy (excluding reasonable wear and tear).
- Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when necessary to allow a person with a disability "equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling" (for example, refusing to allow a person with a disability to have a needed companion or service dog).
Self Help Resources
- Civil Rights Department of the State of California - State of California’s fair housing enforcement agency for fair housing complaints. Formerly knows as Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Federal agency charged with enforcing the Fair Housing Act
- California Landlord Tenant Consumer Handbook - Information on general landlord tenant issues.
- City of San Diego Code Enforcement – City agency where the public can make complaints about unsafe and hazardous living conditions in rental units.
- Access 2 Independence: Resource center for persons with disabilities.
- What is Sexual Harassment? Sexual Harassment | HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Video example of Sexual Harassment Quid Pro Quo Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment (with Audio Descriptions)
- Video example of Hostile Environment Harassment Hostile Environment Harassment (with Audio Descriptions)
- Preventing Harassment in Housing Fact Sheet for Public Housing and Voucher Program Applicants and Tenants (hud.gov)
- Frequently Asked Questions about sexual harassment QANDASEXUALHARASSMENT.PDF (hud.gov)
- How does the Fair Housing Act protect persons who face domestic violence? Domestic Violence Guidance (hud.gov)
Download a free guide to navigating a psychiatric crisis in San Diego County. Available on iOS, Android, and Windows platforms. The oscER application will give you information, resources, and peace of mind.
Bazelon Center for Mental Health: Resource for information for persons with mental health disabilities.
HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on Reasonable Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
HUD Guidance on Assistance Animals explains certain obligations of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (FHAct), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with respect to animals that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities.
Information on Fair Housing Disparate Impact Claims Based on the Use of Criminal and Eviction Records in Tenant Screening Policies
Information regarding the Mental Health Services Act in San Diego County
Securing Stable Housing Resource on Securing Stable Housing for Persons with a Mental Health Condition
Mental Health America-Housing Resource on Housing for Persons with a Mental Illness
Information on Disability Discrimination and the Fair Housing Act
FAQ California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Frequently Asked Housing Discrimination Questions
Information on Rental Housing Discrimination on the Basis of Mental Disabilities: Results of Pilot Testing
Discrimination Based on a Tenant’s Source of Income in the City of San Diego is now Illegal.
On July 31, 2018, the San Diego City Council voted to make illegal discrimination in rental housing on the basis of a tenant’s source of income. Click here to view the Source of Income Ordinance. rtf version
- Source of income is defined to include rental assistance from any federal, state, local, or nonprofit-administered benefit or subsidy program, or any financial aid from any rental assistance program, homeless assistance program, security deposit assistance program, or housing subsidy program.
- Source of Income brochure. Click here for Spanish version. rtf version
The following video explains more about the City of San Diego’s source of income ordinance: https://youtu.be/UUBlTlP00HY
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on:
- National Origin
- Disability (physical and/or mental)
- Familial Status (presence of children)
In addition to these federally protected classes, California State Fair Housing Law also makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing based on:
- Marital Status
- Sexual Orientation
- Source of Income
- Arbitrary status
- Genetic Information
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing, has provided these Educational Videos to illustrate how the fair housing act can protect you from discrimination.
Also, see THE LASSD Fair Housing Center's Public Service Announcement on your fair housing rights.
Fair Housing Center
Our Fair Housing Center is funded by County of San Diego, and the cities of San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside, Vista, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Request a Presentation
Our staff give presentations on a variety of issues to community groups, service providers, and others in low-income communities.
Volunteer to Help
We can always use volunteer assistance. Please contact our pro bono team for opportunities!