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There are federal, state, and local laws which prohibit discrimination in housing. Omaha's civil rights law prohibits discrimination in housing based on RACE, CREED, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE*, SEX, MARITAL STATUS, OR DISABILITY.  Discrimination based on any of the above factors is prohibited in the following housing practices.  
(* Age forty and above)

Examples of possible discrimination in housing are:

1. To refuse to show, rent, lease, sell or transfer housing.

Housing includes apartments, condominiums, duplexes and similar attached housing, mobile homes and trailer courts, vacant land, commercial property, and private homes.

Have you been denied an opportunity to see an apartment or home or refused an opportunity to rent or buy when it was available to others?

    Were you told that the housing was no longer available, but you still see the "For Rent" or "For Sale" sign up the next day?

    Did you discover that you were treated differently?  To discover discrimination, a friend of a different race or sex, for example, may inquire about the same housing before or after your inquiry and then the treatments are compared.  You also may plan to telephone before or after you visit the housing to check on vacancies and financial arrangements, and then to compare those answers with the answers you receive in person.

    Was there a waiting list?  This is not discriminatory in itself, but it may be if it is not followed.

2. To cause unequal terms, conditions and privileges of housing.

Were you denied the same privileges as others, including parking space, the provision of needed repairs and services, or the use of the apartment pool or club house with guests of different racial, ethnic or other backgrounds?

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

Were you quoted a sale or rental price far higher than that paid by other tenants or neighbors or a price other than the advertised price? Was a higher security deposit required?

3. To cause unequal terms, conditions and privileges in the obtaining and use of financial assistance for the purchase, construction or maintenance of housing.

Was a credit check  or co-signer required for you but not for others?  Did a lender or agent refuse to include your spouse's income in qualification for a loan or a lease?  Or did they demand that this income be included against your wishes?

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

Have you been denied a housing loan or apartment lease because you are single or divorced, male or female?

Were you asked your intentions about starting a family?

4. To segregate and/or separate in housing.

Were you actively discouraged from seeking housing in certain neighborhoods?  Did the rental or sales agent show you only one subdivision or area even though you wanted to see others?

5. To include or honor restrictive covenants which are discriminatory.

6. To advertise any discriminatory preference or limitation in housing.

To make any inquiry or reference which is discriminatory.

Did the owner, manager, leader or real estate agent inquire about or refer to your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, or disability?

7. To aid and abet in unfair housing practices.

8. To prevent any person from complying with fair housing practices.

9. To retaliate against an employee or agent who complies with fair housing practices through such actions as demotion, discharge or unequal compensation.

10. To refuse to receive and transmit any bona fide offer to buy, rent, sell or lease housing.

Did the owner, manager or real estate agent fail or refuse to act on your offer because of, for example, race, sex, or age?

11. To practice blockbusting, red-lining or steering.

BLOCKBUSTING-may occur when real estate agents promote the listing and sale of real estate (and business for themselves) through panic tactics such as warning residents to sell because different racial or ethnic groups, for example, are moving into the area.

Phrases such as "undesirable elements are moving in" or references to "bad schools" or "changing neighborhoods" may be examples of this practice.

RED-LINING-is when lenders and insurers either refuse their services to certain neighborhoods or require additional costs for their services.

STEERING-is conduct which may influence a person's choice of a housing location on the basis of his or her race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, or disability.

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

Both private and public housing agencies may engage in steering. Steering may reinforce involuntary public school segregation while fair housing practices reduce school busing for integration.


A charge must be filed within 365 days of the alleged act of discrimination.

Follow this link for information on Filing a charge.

This is a general summary of the housing discrimination laws and does not have the force or effect of city, state or federal laws.  If there are any inconsistencies, specific rules and laws will control.