Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Supportive Living Facility Sued for 'No Mental Illness' Policy

A supportive living facility with a stated mission to "promote a better lifestyle for people with physical disabilities while encouraging self-direction, greater privacy, independence and dignity" is under fire for allegedly refusing to rent to people who have received a mental health diagnosis.

According to a report from The Beacon News, Eden Supportive Living of North Aurora, Illinois, communicated a "no mental illness" policy to prospective tenants and told prospects who revealed a mental health diagnosis that they can't live there.

The lawsuit, filed by HOPE Fair Housing Center in federal district court against Eden and the State of Illinois, claims this policy violates the Fair Housing Act's (FHA) ban on disability-based discrimination and that state regulations that facilitate such a policy are illegal.

(Indeed, at the time of this writing, Eden indicates on its Web site that "Supportive Living is an assisted living model administered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services that combines housing with services for persons 22 and over with physical disabilities.")

The FHA specifically includes "a physical or mental impairment" in its coverage definition, and so limiting tenancy only to people with physical impairments would mean denying housing to people who are protected under the same part of the law.


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