Housing Resources

Understanding Your Rights & Getting Help

The Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia’s website offers a useful overview of housing rights, particularly the rights of people with disabilities. Their website features Q&As, resources, and fact sheets regarding your rights, how to secure those rights, and how to file a complaint when facing discrimination.

Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission: The PHRC’s website defines the types of housing discrimination, explains the law and your rights, and provides information on filing a complaint.

Philadelphia Fair Housing Commission: Formed by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, the Philadelphia Fair Housing Commission enforces the Philadelphia Fair Housing Ordinance that addresses certain unfair rental practices. They provide guidance to Tenants and Landlords on their responsibilities as they relate to the Ordinance. Tenants may file complaints with the Office by calling 215-686-4692.

Advocates and Coalitions

Disabilities Rights Network of Pennsylvania: The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania’s vision is that all Pennsylvanians with disabilities are empowered with opportunities and choices, are valued members of their communities fully included in all aspects of community life having access to quality education, employment opportunities, and housing options living free from abuse, neglect and discrimination.

Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia:  The mission of the Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia is to educate and advocate for equal access to quality, affordable housing for everyone in Southeast Pennsylvania.

Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania (SDHP): SDHP is a state-wide organization that promotes self-determination in housing choice and control for people with disabilities in Pennsylvania.Their goal is to increase the stock of affordable, accessible and integrated housing and to expand access to public and private housing programs for people with disabilities.

Laws and Cases

Fair Housing Act: Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act) prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.

  • Halderman v. Pennhurst: This case, argued by the Law Center three times before the Supreme Court, resulted in the closing of the Pennhurst institution for developmentally disabled individuals and the placement of its residents in quality, community-based settings. The case set a national precedent for ending the practice of segregating people with disabilities in institutions, and instead, establishing community-based supports that will allow people with disabilities to fully participate in their communities.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and/or disability in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990:Title II prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. HUD enforces Title II when it relates to state and local public housing, housing assistance and housing referrals.

For more information on these and other Fair Housing Laws, please visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.