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Heat Emergency in Boston
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Mayor Wu declared a heat emergency in the City through Thursday, June 20.

Fair Housing and Equity

Working to prevent discrimination and ensure fair and equitable access to housing for all people of Boston

Our mission is to ensure fair and equitable access to housing opportunities. We strive to increase equity and reduce barriers to opportunity for persons living and working in the City of Boston. 

What is fair housing? 

In the City of Boston, discrimination is illegal when renting, buying, selling, or securing financing for any housing. Our commission makes sure property owners do not discriminate against tenants or buyers based on their race, color, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, marital status, rental assistance, family status, and military status. 

You can learn more about the Boston Fair Housing Commission regulations. If you feel you've experienced housing discrimination in Boston, you can file a complaint with our office. 

Contact

Submit an intake online

If you feel you've experienced housing discrimination in Boston, you can file a complaint with our office. To start the process, please call us at 617-635-2500, or complete our online intake form below.

Submit an intake

Our Process

Intake 

Our Intake Specialist speaks with constituents who want to file a case to determine if their case is jurisdictional. For the case to be within our jurisdiction, the discriminatory act has to fulfill the following: 

  • The act must have taken place within the City of Boston 
  • The affected party must belong to a protected class 
  • Discrimination must have taken place within the last 180 days 
Investigation

Once the complaint has been signed, our investigators begin their investigation process by requesting evidence and conducting interviews. 

Determination 

Given the facts of the case, the investigator will determine whether there is probable cause or a lack of probable cause that discrimination occurred. 

We are a neutral investigative body; therefore, we are unable to provide any legal advice to any party. 

In Your Shoes: Fair Housing

Related Housing Resources

Resources
Office of Housing Stability

Helps residents find and maintain stable, safe and affordable housing.

RentSmart Boston

Get data compiled from BOS: 311 and Inspectional Services about Boston’s properties.

Boston Home Center

The center helps Boston residents purchase, improve, and keep their homes.

METROLIST

Provides all residents with equal access to housing opportunities. This includes income-restricted rental properties and affordable housing lotteries and resales.

Have you been evicted or at risk of eviction?

The Office of Housing Stability offers programs such as rental assistance programs and other helpful resources.

If you believe you’ve suffered a discriminatory eviction, please file an intake with our Fair Housing and Equity team. Someone will reach out to you shortly. 

Do you need legal assistance?

Contact these resources for help:

Do you need assistance finding housing?

Please go to Metrolist to review the city’s affordable housing listings.

Do you need to apply for Rental Assistance?

Please contact the Office of Housing Stability, where you can get connected with rental assistance programs and other helpful resources.

For help with deposits, lease violations, noise and excessive Noise, and more, contact the Office of Housing Stability:

Office of Housing Stability

Please contact the Office of Housing Stability, where you can get connected with rental assistance programs and other helpful resources.

Office of Housing Stability

It is illegal for housing providers to discriminate against families with children under six even if the unit is known to have lead paint. The Massachusetts lead law requires that any place built before 1978 where a child under six years old lives must be made lead-safe.

Do you have a child aged 6 years or younger?

Please file an intake with our Fair Housing and Equity team and someone will reach out to you shortly.

Looking for help with lead poisoning, lead pipes, lead levels, lead paint, lead tests, lead testing, abatements, or lead removal?

Please contact the Boston Public Health Commission for more information about lead poisoning and lead in homes.

Need general support?

Please contact the Inspectional Services Department, where you can request a home inspection and get connected with other helpful resources.

Are the maintenance issues negatively affecting your disability or are they otherwise discriminatory?

Please file an intake with our Fair Housing and Equity team and someone will reach out to you shortly.

Please contact the Inspectional Services Department, where you can request a home inspection and get connected with other helpful resources.

Have you been discriminated against? Have you faced racism, homophobia, slurs, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation?

If the this issue happened outside the City of Boston, please bring your case to the Massachusetts Commission of Discrimination.

If you live in the City of Boston and the discrimination took place related to housing, please fill out an intake form.

Affirmative Marketing has moved to the Mayor's Office of Housing. Learn more.

Outside of Boston?

Have you experienced housing discrimination outside of Boston, or any other non-housing discrimination?

Contact the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination:

Commission website

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