How to File a Housing Discrimination Complaint
If you or someone you know feels discriminated against when renting, buying or selling a home due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or a disability, help may be available from the following state or federal agencies.
Filing a complaint with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC)
THRC is the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agency for the state of Tennessee. THRC investigates allegations of discrimination in housing and other areas. Complaints of discrimination must be filed with THRC within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. Anonymous complaints are not accepted. Follow this link to information on filing a complaint and for THRC’s complaint form, or call the agency at 1-800-251-3589 for assistance.
Filing a complaint with HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity (FHEO)
Anyone who feels discriminated against when renting, buying or selling a home may file a complaint with HUD-FHEO. Persons may file a complaint with HUD online (English & Spanish), by email or mail using the HUD form (also available in Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese) or by calling 1-800-669-9777 or 1-800-877-8339. Complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged discriminatory act. HUD FHEO investigates alleged discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (including housing that is privately owned and operated) and alleged discrimination and other civil rights violations in housing and community development programs, including those funded by HUD.
Please note: It is not necessary to file a complaint with both THRC and HUD. THRC, as the State of Tennessee FHAP, and HUD FHEO work cooperatively on allegations of housing discrimination. Thus, an individual may file a complaint with either organization. The one exception is when filing a complaint more than 180 days after the alleged discriminatory act occurred. To file a complaint about a discriminatory act that is older than 180 days (but less than one year) please contact HUD-FHEO.
Filing a complaint with THDA
Applicants to and participants of THDA managed programs who believe they have been denied a benefit or experienced some other negative action because of membership in a protected class (race, color, national origin, religion/creed, disability, sex/gender or familial status) may submit a complaint directly to THDA. Please complete THDA’s Discrimination Complaint form and send the form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Attn: Civil Rights Compliance
Andrew Jackson Building, Third Floor
502 Deaderick St.
Nashville, TN 37243
For complaints involving THDA managed programs, THDA may initially investigate a discrimination complaint or may forward the complaint to THRC or HUD-FHEO for investigation and response. THDA is not an enforcement agency for Title VI, Fair Housing or the TN Human Rights Act; therefore, when a discrimination complaint is received THDA must always notify and coordinate the investigation and recommended actions with THRC or HUD-FHEO. All complaints that allege discrimination, but are not related to a THDA managed program, are forwarded to THRC or HUD-FHEO for investigation and response. Follow this link for THDA’s Discrimination Complaint procedures.
Retaliation Is Illegal!
It is illegal for anyone to retaliate against a person for making a fair housing complaint to HUD or a housing provider/agency or for participating in the investigation. If you believe you have experienced retaliation, you can file a complaint following the process outlined above.
Housing Discrimination Complaints & Assistance
If you or someone you know feels discriminated against when renting, buying or selling a home due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or a disability, follow this link to learn more about where to seek help.
If you need help with filing a discrimination complaint, HUD funds housing organizations and other non-profits to assist people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). FHIP organizations may assist individuals with filing a discrimination complaint with the appropriate state of federal agency. Tennessee has two FHIP agencies that may assist individuals with fair housing matters, Tennessee Fair Housing Council and West Tennessee Legal Services.
Title VI & Fair Housing Questions?
For questions about THDA’s Title VI procedures, compliance-related information or questions about filing a complaint, please email Laura Swanson, Title VI & Fair Housing Coordinator (615) 815-2127. For information on Section 504 and reasonable accommodation requests in THDA programs, email THDA Assistant Legal -Counsel, Charity Williams (615) 815-2029.
Fair Housing - Equal Opportunity for All booklet from HUD (English)
Equidad en la Vivienda - Igualdad de Oportunidades para Todos de los EE.UU. (Espanol)
Are You a Victim of Housing Discrimination? pamphlet from HUD (English)
Es usted una Victima de la discriminacion en la Vivienda? de los EE.UU. (Espanol)