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, marital status, religion, national origin, elderliness, disability (physical or mental) or familial status of the home seeker. To ensure fair housing opportunities for all Arlington residents, the County monitors local housing conditions and lending practices and provides information about how to file a complaint in the case of discriminatory housing practices. 

Regional Fair Housing Plan


The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Arlington, and seven other local governments invite you to provide input to the Regional Fair Housing Plan that will shape the future of housing in the region. The 60-day comment period is open from January 31 to March 31, 2023.

The draft Plan has regional and local goals and actions that will:

  • Increase access to housing
  • Increase access to all neighborhoods
  • Increase fair housing enforcement
  • Remove barriers to housing choice
  • Increase housing choice for persons with disabilities

Areas included in the plan:  AlexandriaDistrict of ColumbiaGaithersburgMontgomery CountyArlington CountyFairfax CountyLoudoun County and Prince William County

Eight local governments are partnering with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) to prepare a Regional Analysis to Fair Housing Choice (Regional Housing Equity Plan). The jurisdictions are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to affirmatively further fair housing.  The Regional Fair Housing Plan will fulfill this HUD requirement and aims to increase collaboration, innovation, and effectiveness of strategies to affirmatively further fair housing throughout the metropolitan area.

The participating local governments in the region, together with their public housing authority partners have determined that working together to create a regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (AI), may help ensure that local goals are consistent, collaborative, and innovative, and more likely to be effective. 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 is responsible for creating the Regional Housing Equity Plan which will be completed in 2023. A Community Advisory Committee comprised of organizations representing people impacted by fair housing choice will work alongside the Project Team and help ensure that the final plan includes critical insights for addressing barriers and developing solutions to achieve fair housing choice.

Review the Fair Housing Plan at www.mwcog.org/fairhousing

Questions? Email Fairhousing@mwcog.org

Comment by mail at Fairhousing@mwcog.org, by voicemail at 202-962-3794 or TDD at 202-962-3213, or by mail at MWCOG, 777 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20002, Attn: Fair Housing.

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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.

Fair Housing Complaints

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

To file a Fair Housing complaint: