Housing Choice Voucher Program

Family Rights

Your Fair Housing Rights

What is Fair Housing? 
It is important to understand the basic rights provided to you under fair housing laws. The premise is simple: everyone has the legal right to live anywhere he/she wants to live. Fair housing laws apply to both individuals and families whether they are voucher holders or not. There are federal, state, and local fair housing laws that protect you from discrimination in housing. In Miami-Dade County it is illegal to discriminate based on:

·         Race

·         Color

·         Religion

·         National Origin

·         Sex (including sexual harassment)

·         Age

·         Disability

·         Familial Status

·         Pregnancy

·         HIV Status

·         Gender Identity

·         Sexual Orientation

·         Marital Status

·         Ancestry

·         Source of Income


Fair housing laws do not require an owner to rent to anyone. Owners have the right to screen applicants based on legal guidelines and procedures. The screening process will vary from owner to owner. Some owners/managers will just talk to you and make a decision. Other owners will require you to go through a formal screening process, which may include:

·         Checking credit history and references

·         Conducting a criminal background check

·         Reviewing previous rental history 

·         Filling out an application form

  

Filling out an applicatiFair housing laws do require an owner treat all prospective tenants the same. If the screening uncovers information that indicates that you may not pay the rent on time or that you may damage the property, then the owner does not have to accept you as a tenant. Under Florida law, the owner may not use your status as a voucher holder to deny you tenancy.

Under the Fair Housing Act, it is against the law for owners or property managers to:

·         Refuse to rent or negotiate because of a person’s protected status 

·         Impose different terms or conditions because of a person’s protected status 

·         Make discriminatory statements or publish discriminatory communications

·         Lie about the availability of a dwelling because of a person’s protected status

·         Coerce or intimidate an applicant who has filed a fair housing complaint

·         Steer applicants (illegally guiding renters to a particular area based on the racial or ethnic characteristics of residents of the building or neighborhood)

NOTE: Throughout Miami-Dade County, the owner may not use your status as a voucher holder to deny your tenancy. Owners cannot say “I don’t take section 8”.

How do I file a complaint? 
If you believe you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination, you can contact HUD or MDHCV. If you’d like to file a complaint directly with HUD, please see HUD’s “Are You a Victim of Housing Discrimination?” brochure located on page 86. You can also fill out a complaint with HUD online at: https://portalapps.hud.gov/AdaptivePages/HUD/complaint/complaint-details.htm. MDVCH will assist you in completing these forms if necessary.

Translation and Interpreter Services

What is LEP? 
A limited English proficient (LEP) person does not speak English as their primary language and has limited ability to read, write, or understand English at a level that permits the person to effectively communicate in the course of applying for or receiving services or benefits.

What if I need an interpreter or translation services? 
Participants with disabilities and those who have limited English proficiency can request translation and interpreter services (including sign language) for MDHCV-related business. MDHCV can make documents available in other languages and large print. MDHCV has translated vital forms into Spanish and Creole. MDHCV also has bilingual staff members that are fluent in Spanish or Creole who can provide interpretation as needed. To request translation and interpreter services, contact the MDHCV Customer Service Call Center at 305-403-3222.

Servicios y documentos están disponibles en español y otros idiomas. (Spanish)

Sevis ak dokiman yo disponib nan lang panyol ak lot. (Creole)

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