Human Rights and Equity Programs

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8AM-4:30PM. Telephone or videoconference intake appointments are strongly encouraged. For your convenience, our office accepts walk-ins for intake from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 318
Fairfax, VA 22035

Kenneth Saunders,

Housing Discrimination



Image of neighborhoodHousing discrimination happens in the process of renting, buying, selling or getting a loan for a home. It also includes discrimination that denies someone the use or enjoyment of their home.

Who is protected?

Discrimination in housing is prohibited on the basis of race; color; sex; religion; national origin; marital status; familial status (having children younger than 18); handicap or disability, elderliness (age 55+), sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or source of funds.

It is also illegal to discriminate against someone because he or she has opposed housing discrimination, participated in an investigation, or exercised otherwise exercised a right provided for under Fairfax County’s Fair Housing Act.

What does Housing Discrimination Look Like?

Some examples of housing discrimination are as follows:

  • refusing to rent to a family with children under 18
  • refusing to rent or sell a home to someone of a particular race, religion or skin color
  • targeting a particular group for unfavorable loan terms or deceptive lending practices (predatory lending)
  • a landlord refusing accessible parking or otherwise denying access to the housing accommodation of a person with a disability
  • housing advertisements that express a preference for people of a certain race, sex or religion
  • making references to the composition of the neighborhood in which a property is listed in order to discourage a home purchase
  • treating one tenant less favorably than others in the terms of their rental or in repairing or maintaining property because of their race, religion, sex, or other protected characteristic.
  • harassment by a landlord based on race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, etc.


New Webinar: Fair Housing: Discrimination Based on Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity were recently added to Virginia’s protected classes and are also now included as Sex Discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.  This webinar, presented by the Equal Rights Center and the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights & Equity Programs, will update housing providers and others on these developments and provide best practices to prevent discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Housing Discrimination Based on Sex, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


New Webinar: How Racial Bias Restricts Housing, Neighborhood Choice, and Integrated Communities

This webinar, presented by the Equal Rights Center in collaboration with the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights & Equity Programs, discusses how housing discrimination because of race and racial biases restrict housing, neighborhood choice, and integrated communities. Specifically, the webinar addresses topics such as source of funds discrimination, the use of racially-coded language, and best practices for criminal records and credit screening.



Fair Housing Updates and Protections

COVID-19 and Fair Housing Concerns


File a Complaint

If you feel you have been a victim of housing discrimination and would like to file a complaint, please complete the online questionnaire or contact OHREP at 703.324.2953, 711 TTY.

Federal Housing Discrimination Laws

If you file a complaint with Fairfax County and your allegations are covered under federal laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fairfax County will file your complaint with HUD as well. Only one agency will conduct the investigation. However, federal law may afford you additional rights and remedies, which this dual-filing process protects.

The Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs also provides education and outreach services. Services include training for landlords, real estate professionals, property managers, lenders, and other housing professionals, as well as information to and training for the general public. To obtain more information on fair housing or to arrange for training for your business, group, or organization, call 703.324.2953 to speak with our Fair Housing Coordinator. Informational brochures are also available under the publications tab on this site. Link to Publications Page

Fairfax Virtual Assistant