Fair Housing

The federal Fair Housing Act and the County Human Rights Ordinance prohibit discrimination in residential housing based on sexual orientation, race, color, sex, gender identity, marital status, religion, national origin, elderliness, disability (physical or mental), or familial status of the home seeker. Since March 2024, the County Human Rights Ordinance also prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of source of funds. To ensure fair housing opportunities for all Arlington residents, the County monitors local housing conditions and lending practices and provides information about how to report discriminatory housing practices.

Reporting Housing Discrimination

To report housing discrimination based on all factors except source of funds:

To report housing discrimination based on source of funds:

  • Call 703-228-3929 (703-228-4611 [TTY])

If you have questions or concerns about housing discrimination, we can help. For more information:

Recognizing Housing Discrimination

Housing discrimination on the bases above (disability, race, national origin, religion, sex, source of funds, etc.) might sound like the following:

  • You can’t live here with a pet, even if it’s a service animal.
  • You might be more comfortable living somewhere else.
  • [NEIGHBORHOOD] has more [salons that can braid your hair / Latin American restaurants / businesses with signs in Amharic / etc.].
  • I’ll show you neighborhoods with mosques.
  • I’ll [give you a lease / fix the heat] if you let me stay overnight sometimes.
  • We only take people who speak English clearly.
  • We don’t accept vouchers.

Regional Fair Housing Plan

The Fair Housing Plan is a planning process (also known as the “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice”) for local governments and public housing agencies to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination. State and local governments receiving funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) must submit a fair housing plan.  

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) collaborated closely with eight local jurisdictions to help them meet fair housing requirements through development of the Regional Fair Housing Plan (also known as the Regional Housing Equity Plan), marking the first time in 25 years that local jurisdictions have joined together to create a joint plan for metropolitan Washington. Working regionally will ensure that we will continue to address these regional goals: Meet fair housing requirements; Provide better access to safe, affordable housing; increase investment and resources in priority areas; overcome past and current segregation patterns; promote fair housing choice; and create more inclusive communities.

The Arlington County Board approved the Regional Fair Housing Plan(PDF, 22MB) for Arlington County on July 15, 2023.

The major components of the metropolitan Washington regional AI include:

  • A robust community participation and comment process that allows for meaningful dialogue for key stakeholders; 
  • Assessment of past goals and actions;  
  • Analysis of data and issues that impact fair housing: and 
  • Establishment of measurable fair housing goals and priorities. 

The Regional Fair Housing Project Team was responsible for creating the Regional Housing Equity Plan. A Community Advisory Committee comprised of organizations representing people impacted by fair housing choice worked alongside the Project Team and help ensure that the final plan included critical insights for addressing barriers and developing solutions to achieve fair housing choice.

Regional Fair Housing Plan website: www.mwcog.org/fairhousing

Assessments and Reports

The County conducts periodic assessments of local housing conditions, barriers and impediments, including:

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (AI): This is an assessment of how laws, government policies, real estate practices and local conditions affect the location, availability and accessibility of housing. It looks at barriers to housing choice, such as housing supply, location, physical accessibility, source of income, financing, foreclosures and language access. This analysis can then be used to make decisions that might broaden the housing options of persons protected by fair housing laws.

Fair Housing Testing: Testing is one method to determine whether a person is treated differently in their search for housing. This report describes testing conducted in 2007 and includes methodology, overview and results.

Language Access Report: The Housing Division provides direct service to tenants, landlords, owners and prospective homebuyers in Arlington. By better understanding the needs of these citizens, the County can improve its services, ensure fair access to housing options and raise awareness about housing issues in the community. This report explores limited English proficiency among Arlington residents to determine where housing and other County services may require services in multiple languages.

Subprime Lending

Predatory lending refers to unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices during the loan origination process. These types of practices can have far-reaching effects and can undermine the stability of neighborhoods. The immediate consequences of predatory lending include high mortgage costs, unfavorable terms and elevated foreclosure/delinquency rates. The long-term effects can include credit damage for individual buyers, as well as deteriorating and blighted neighborhoods. For more information, visit the Center for Responsible Lending.