The federal Fair Housing Act and the County Human Rights Ordinance prohibit discrimination in residential housing based on sexual orientation, race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, elderliness, disability (physical or mental) or familial status of the home seeker. Source of income, or source of funds, became a protected class in the Virginia Fair Housing Law on July 1, 2020. It is unlawful to discriminate because of any source that lawfully provides funds to or on behalf of a renter or buyer of housing, including any assistance, benefit, or subsidy program, whether such program is administered by a governmental or nongovernmental entity. To ensure fair housing opportunities for all Arlington residents, the County monitors local housing conditions and lending practices and provides information about how to file a complaint in the case of discriminatory housing practices.
Arlington Developing a Fair Housing Plan
Arlington is in the process of developing an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (AI) and a Fair Housing Plan to address those impediments. The AI is a review of demographic data, metrics of discrimination and disparity, and local regulations and administrative policies, procedures, and practices that affect the location, availability, and accessibility of housing. It also assesses the conditions, both public and private, that affect fair housing choice. The AI, along with community engagement to ensure that that the experiences and perspectives of community members inform development of policies, will result in the establishment of measurable fair housing goals and priorities: the Fair Housing Plan.
Regional Housing Equity Plan – Opportunities for Input
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) is coordinating community engagement as we develop a Regional Housing Equity Plan. The plan, also known as the Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, helps direct federal funds in ways to make housing more equitable and accessible to individuals and families no matter where they live or where they would like to live. This historic coordination of area governments will impact numerous adjacent jurisdictions in the region to address common challenges of housing inequity together.
In October, we will invite you or your organization to participate in a focus group or a community meeting to help establish measurable fair housing goals and priorities across the metropolitan area. Please check back for dates for these meetings. Please view and share this brief video on why the regional analysis is so valuable.
Tenant Landlord Commission Fair Housing Community Meeting
On November 18 at 7pm, the Tenant Landlord Commission held a community meeting to share and discuss the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing and the draft Fair Housing Plan. The meeting provided an opportunity for discussion and feedback on the draft findings and recommendations. Visit the Tenant Landlord Commission webpage to view a recording of this meeting.
To provide comments on the draft, email Joel Franklin.
Assessments and Reports
The County conducts periodic assessments of local housing conditions, barriers and impediments, including:
Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (AI) : This is an assessment of how laws, government policies, real estate practices and local conditions affect the location, availability and accessibility of housing. It looks at barriers to housing choice, such as housing supply, location, physical accessibility, source of income, financing, foreclosures and language access. This analysis can then be used to make decisions that might broaden the housing options of persons protected by fair housing laws.
Fair Housing Testing: Testing is one method to determine whether a person is treated differently in their search for housing. This report describes testing conducted in 2007 and includes methodology, overview and results.
Language Access Report: The Housing Division provides direct service to tenants, landlords, owners and prospective homebuyers in Arlington. By better understanding the needs of these citizens, the County can improve its services, ensure fair access to housing options and raise awareness about housing issues in the community. This report explores limited English proficiency among Arlington residents to determine where housing and other County services may require services in multiple languages.
Predatory lending refers to unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices during the loan origination process. These types of practices can have far-reaching effects and can undermine the stability of neighborhoods. The immediate consequences of predatory lending include high mortgage costs, unfavorable terms and elevated foreclosure/delinquency rates. The long-term effects can include credit damage for individual buyers, as well as deteriorating and blighted neighborhoods. For more information, visit the Center for Responsible Lending.
Fair Housing Complaints
If you have questions or concerns about housing discrimination, we can help. For more information:
- County Human Rights Commission
- Virginia Fair Housing Office
- U.S. Department of Justice – Housing and Civil Enforcement Division
To file a Fair Housing complaint: