Housing Discrimination

Housing Discrimination in Cambridge is prohibited by the Fair Housing Ordinance. We also work with HUD to enforce the Federal Fair Housing Act.

The Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits discrimination in real estate transactions such as:

  • viewing or renting an apartment
  • terms and conditions of tenancy
  • refusing to reasonably accommodate a disabled individual if the accommodation would not cause an undue hardship to the landlord
  • viewing or purchasing a home
  • applying for or receiving a mortgage
  • purchasing homeowners' or renters' insurance
  • printing, publicizing or advertising

Under the law, landlords, sellers, and rental agents may use any reasonable standard to determine which applicants are selected, as long as that standard is applied equally and uniformly to all applicants. Tenant selection may be based on:

  • an applicant's ability to pay the rent
  • an applicant's ability to take care of the apartment and to respect the rights of others
  • exemption for 2-family dwelling when owner lives there

A person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in housing should contact the Cambridge Human Rights Commission to schedule an interview and file a complaint