April is Fair Housing Month and the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Fair Housing Act. More Info

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Division of
Human Relations



Protected Classes




Age

It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on his or her age. Age is a protected category under the Delaware Fair Housing Act for individuals who are any age 18 years or older. If you are denied an opportunity to rent, buy, finance or insure or a home or apartment—or given false information about housing—because of your age, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat current residents or tenants, or their guests, unfavorably because of their age.

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It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on his, her or their creed.

The word ‘creed’ comes from the Latin word that means “I believe.” A creed can be a formal doctrine, or system of beliefs, for a church or religious group. It also can be a philosophy, or a set of personal beliefs and the practices and observances associated with those beliefs.” Companies, societies, and disciplines might also adopt a creed — as in a political creed, a national creed, or a management creed — that lays out a particular belief-system or way of doing things. You do not need to support a particular belief or creed to be discriminated because of it. Discrimination based on creed can include the perception of those beliefs by others, and the negative perception by others may be based on your clothing or hairstyle, jewelry you wear, a book you carry or a symbol on a tee shirt

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You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination on the basis of your disability. It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on his or her disability, or against anyone who is associated with a person with a disability. If you are denied an opportunity to rent, buy, finance or insure a home or apartment—or given false information about a housing transaction—because of your disability, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat current residents or tenants with a disability unfavorably because they have a disability, or associate with people with disabilities.

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It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on his or her familial status. In fair housing law, “familial status” has a specific and limited meaning: the presence of children under the age of 18 in a household. You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination because of the presence of children under 18 who are living with you, whether you are their parent(s) or legal custodian(s). Pregnant women and people who are securing custody of children under age 18 (for example, grandparents who are taking custody of a grandchild) also are protected against discrimination.

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Learn how to file a discrimination complaint online, or obtain the status of a case.

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You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination on the basis of your marital status—that is, whether you are married, unmarried, divorced or single. It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on his or her marital status. Marital status is a protected category under the Delaware fair housing laws.

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It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on his or her national origin. You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination on the basis of your national origin—that is, your country of birth– or the national origin or country of birth of your ancestors. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, national origin discrimination can be based either upon the country of an individual’s birth or where his or her ancestors originated. Similar terms might include “culture,” “nationality,” “ethnic group,” or “ancestry.”

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You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination on the basis of your race and/or color If you are denied an opportunity to purchase, rent, finance or insure a home or apartment—or given false information about a sale , rental, loan or insurance policy—because of your race or color, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat existing residents or tenants, or their guests, differently because of their race or color. Discrimination based on race or color can often be subtle, so subtle that victims of discrimination may be unaware that they were treated differently because of their race or color.

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You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination on the basis of your religion. It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their religion, or on the basis of their having no religion. That includes refusing to rent to someone because of their religion, imposing discriminatory rules that impact their reasonable religious observance, treating people differently because of their religion, and discriminating against them because they do not subscribe to others’ religious beliefs.

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You are protected against unlawful housing discrimination on the basis of your sex (gender). It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of your sex in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings and in other housing related transactions. If you are denied an opportunity to rent or buy a home because of your sex, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords and other housing providers to current residents or tenants differently because of their sex. The law protects men as well as women from housing discrimination, but the majority of sex discrimination claims involve policies or practices that limit women’s housing choices or are likely to affect women more severely.

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Delaware fair housing laws include protections for people who are (or who are perceived to be) straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. Under Delaware’s Fair Housing laws, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you are denied an opportunity to buy, rent, finance or insure a home or apartment—or given false information about housing—because of your sexual orientation or your gender identity, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat current tenants and residents or their guests unfavorably because of the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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If you are denied an opportunity to rent a home or apartment—or given false information about a rental—because of your source of income, you are a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat in-place residents or their guests unfavorably because of the individual’s source of income.

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