City of Williamsport

Fair Housing

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The City of Williamsport’s summary of recommended actions under its 2005 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice are available at Fair Housing (PDF Format 16KB) The City has a Fair Housing Commission that meets four times per year. For information on meeting dates or to volunteer call 570-327-7513


Please assist the City by taking a survey.  We need information about YOUR experience renting or buying housing in Williamsport, PA.

Information and Training Programs
Watch a short YouTube "Fair Housing, It's Your Right" video.  Or learn more about Fair Housing and Accessibility law by visiting HUD "Fair Housing, Accessibility First".    Or take the Fair Housing Quiz to find out if you understand Fair Housing in Pennsylvania

What is Covered by the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing but in some circumstances, exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations or private clubs that limit occupancy to members.  For more information read the  Williamsport Fair Housing Guide

What Is Prohibited?
In the Sale and Rental of Housing: No one may take the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap:

Refuse to rent or sell housing
Refuse to negotiate for housing
Make housing unavailable
Deny a dwelling
Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
Provide different housing services or facilities
Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.

In Mortgage Lending:
No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):

Refuse to make a mortgage loan
Refuse to provide information regarding loans
Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
Discriminate in appraising property
Refuse to purchase a loan or
Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

.It is illegal for anyone to:
• Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
• Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.

If you or someone associated with you:
• Has a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex and mental disability) that substantially limits one or more major life activities
• Has a record of such a disability or are regarded as having such a disability

Your landlord may not:
• Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore the property to its original condition when you move.)
• Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.

Housing Opportunities for Families
Unless a building or community qualifies as housing for older persons, it may not discriminate against families in which one or more children under 18 live with:
       A parent
       A person who has legal custody of the child or children or
       the designee of the parent or legal custodian, with the parent or custodian's written permission.

Familial status protection also applies to pregnant women and anyone securing legal custody of a child under 18. Exemption: Housing for older persons is exempt from the prohibition against familial status discrimination if:
       HUD has determined it is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a Federal, State or local government program or
      It is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older or
      It houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates an intent to house persons who are 55 or older.

If You Think Your Rights Have Been Violated HUD can help with any problem of housing discrimination. A Housing Discrimination Complaint Form is available for you to download, complete and mail, or complete online and submit, or you may write HUD a letter, or telephone the HUD office nearest you. You have one year after an alleged violation to file a complaint with HUD, but you should file it as soon as possible.

You may also contact the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission PA Human Relations Commission, 301 Chestnut Street, Suite 300, Harrisburg, PA  17101-1702 (717)855-866-5718, (717) 787-4410  (717) 787-4087 TTY users only or