Frequently Asked Questions
What are the geographical service area boundaries of the Fair Housing Federation?
We serve Los Angeles and Orange counties.
How is the Fair Housing Federation funded?
We are self-funded. We do not receive any Federal, State, County or City dollars for the provision of our service.
How does the Fair Housing Federation offer assistance to mitigate levels of housing discrimination?
We can offer assistance by first determining if a Fair Housing violation has taken place. We can investigate a case through testing and tenant surveys and if we uncover evidence of housing discrimination we can conciliate with the landlord, refer your case to a private attorney or to an enforcement agency such as HUD or DFEH.
How is it determined when Fair Housing violations are taking place?
We determine that by listening to the complainant. It may just be a standard tenant/landlord issue or it could be a case of discrimination. We can add legitimacy to the complaint by sending out Fair Housing testers.
What tools are used to fight against discrimination?
Through education and outreach, PSAs, commercials, YouTube videos, etc. If we find evidence of discrimination, then our tools are conciliation and/or litigation.
What is a Fair Housing tester?
A tester is someone who poses as a home seeker to ascertain if any discrimination is taking place. For example, a test for racial discrimination in the rental market might involve sending a “protected” tester (any member of the federally protected class) and, soon afterward, a “control” tester (the control tester will generally be white, or will match the ethnicity of the housing provider) to an apartment building to inquire about the same type of apartment.
The two testers are matched on personal and home seeking characteristics so that the only significant difference between them is the variable being tested. Upon completing their visits to the apartment building, each tester fills out report forms and provides an objective, detailed account of the test. Comparing the accounts of these test visits often makes it possible to identify and document any differences in treatment, information, and/or services that are being provided to different types of home seekers.
What type of training is provided to new Testers?
Testers are trained by our staff and then sent out on at least one practice test.
Is a Tester paid for conducting his/her part of rental investigations?
Testers are volunteers interested in furthering the cause of Fair Housing.
Are there risks of retaliation from Owner/Manager against Testers for investigating their property?
No, we have never seen a case of retaliation. Also, testers do not use their real last names.Fair Housing testing of landlords and property managers is very low key and not designed in any way to allow for a confrontational experience.
Are Fair Housing services for landlords too?
Absolutely. Our aim is to pursue landlords that act in bad faith, yet not burden property owners with recklessly prepared discrimination cases that impugn the integrity of the Fair Housing industry. Our Executive Director occasionally provides expert witness testimony - for plaintiffs as well as defendants. We do not feel it furthers the cause of Fair Housing to take an "us against them" approach. Our goal is to only litigate cases that fully meet the threshold of discrimination. And often, conciliation is the more prudent alternative to litigation.