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City of Omaha - Nebraska

City of Omaha Human Rights and RelationsOmaha, Nebraska

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Know your rights. Know how to respond.

housing discrimination happens

What is housing discrimination?

There are federal, state and local laws which prohibit discrimination in housing. Housing includes apartments, condominiums, duplexes, and similar attached housing, mobile homes and trailer courts, vacant land, commercial property, and private homes.

The Omaha Municipal Code Section 13-321 through Section 13-330 specifically prohibits discrimination in housing based on:

  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Sex *
  • Marital Status
  • Creed
  • Age **
  • Familial Status ***
  • Disability ****

What Are Some Examples Of Housing Discrimination?

Being denied an opportunity to see an apartment or home, or refused an opportunity to rent or buy when it was available to others.

Being told that the housing was no longer available, but you still see the “For Rent” or “For Sale” sign up the next day.

If you were denied the same privileges as others, including a parking space, the provision of needed repairs and services, or the use of the apartment pool or clubhouse with guests of different racial, ethnic or
other backgrounds.

If given an eviction notice and you were treated differently than other tenants of a different race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, sex, marital status, familial status or without a disability.

You were quoted a sale or rental price far higher than that paid by other tenants or neighbors or a price higher than the advertised price, or a higher security deposit was required.

A credit check or co-signer was required for you but not for others.

A lender or agent refused to include your spouse’s income in qualification for a loan or a lease or demanded that this income is included against your wishes.

A larger down payment or a higher interest rate was required of you compared to other buyers of, for example, a different race, sex, or national origin.

Being denied a housing loan or apartment lease because of your marital status or perceived gender identity.

You were actively discouraged from seeking housing in certain neighborhoods.  For example, a rental or sales agent showed you only one subdivision or area even though you wanted to see others.

An owner, manager, lender or real estate agent inquired about or referred to your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, familial status or disability.

Being asked your intentions about starting a family.

A real estate agent promoted the listing and sale of real estate through panic tactics such as warning residents to sell because different racial or ethnic “undesirable elements” are moving in. References to “bad schools” or “changing neighborhoods” may also be examples of this practice.

When lenders and insurers either refuse their services to certain neighborhoods or require additional costs for their services.

Steering persons into their own ethnic-identity neighborhoods, and selecting listings or failing to advise of listings on a discriminatory basis. 

Can Someone I File A Complaint Against Retaliate?

Retaliation is illegal. It is forbidden by law to punish you for filing a complaint, for acting as a witness or for assisting the Human Rights & Relations Department to establish the cause of the complaint.

How Do I File A Housing Discrimination Complaint?

Anyone who believes they are a victim of discrimination in housing can file a complaint, at no cost, with the City of Omaha Human Rights and Relations Department (OHRRD). A person does not need an attorney to file a complaint or be represented through the OHRRD’s investigation or hearing procedures.

However, individuals do have the right to be represented, at their own expense, if they so choose.

Complaints must be filed within 365 days after the alleged act of discrimination occurred.

A person wishing to file a charge should:

  • Be prepared to present specific facts about the alleged act(s) of discrimination
  • Provide documents, if any, that substantiate charges made in the complaint
  • Keep the OHRRD updated about changes of address

 

If you would like to file a complaint, you may:

Call us at:

Phone: 402-444-5055
Fax: 402-444-5058
TTY: 402-444-5031

Visit us at:

Omaha Douglas Civic Center
1819 Farnam St., Suite 502
Omaha Nebraska 68183

Connect with us online at:

humanrights.cityofomaha.org 
fairomaha.cityofomaha.org
facebook.com/humanrights.omaha

 

* Sex - “The Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases. However, discrimination against a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person may be covered by the Fair Housing Act if it is based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes.”

** Age – Applies to people 40 years old and above

*** Familial Status means one or more minors, under age 18, living with either:

  1. A parent or another person having legal custody of such individual(s)
  2. The designee of a parent or other person having or seeking legal custody, with the written permission of the parent or another person.

**** Disability refers to persons who:

  1. Have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities
  2. Have a record of having such impairment
  3. Being regarded as having such impairment
  4. Disability does not include the current illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance

 

Fairness shouldn't be a fairy tail. Discrimination happens don't ignore it. Call 402-444-5055