It is the policy of the City of Orange that there shall be no discrimination in the acquisition, ownership, possession, or enjoyment of housing through the City of Orange. Complaints may be filed directly to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), through HUD’s app downloaded to a mobile device, through the Texas Workforce Commission or by contacting the City of Orange’s Fair Housing Officer, Kelvin Knauf.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act) and other federal laws prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VII was amended in 1988 (effective March 12, 1989) by the Fair Housing Amendments Act, that:
- Expanded the coverage of the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on disability or on familial status (presence of a child under the age of 18, and pregnant women);
- Established new administrative enforcement mechanisms with HUD attorneys bringing actions before administrative law judges on behalf of victims of housing discrimination; and
- Revised and expanded Justice Department jurisdiction to bring suit on behalf of victims in Federal district courts.
Any person has a right to file a complaint if any of the following occurs:
- They are being denied the right to purchase, rent, or are otherwise discriminated against when dealing with a person regarding housing;
- They are discriminated against in the conditions or terms of sale, rental or occupancy of housing;
- Housing is falsely denied as being available; advertising regarding housing is discriminatory;
- Blockbusting (causing someone to sell or rent by telling them that members of a minority group are moving into the area) is used;
- A bank, savings and loan association, or other business-related thereto discriminates in housing financing;
- Membership or participation in brokerage, multiple listing, or real estate service is denied; or
- They believe the reason for any of these acts is based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or handicap (disability).
City of Orange Fair Housing Complaint Process
- Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in an attempt to secure housing within the City of Orange may file a complaint with the Fair Housing Officer of the City of Orange at the office of the Fair Housing Officer.
- To facilitate and standardize the complaint filing procedure, forms provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development shall be used, and additional forms or background information will be developed as required.
- The Fair Housing Officer shall review the complaint and the complaint shall be referred to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- The Fair Housing Officer shall be responsible for keeping track of all referrals and providing whatever assistance is needed by the United States Department of Housing and Community Development.
- All complaints and follow-ups shall be recorded and kept in a file located in the Fair Housing Officer’s office.
- De-concentration of poverty, race/ethnicity, and public and assisted housing;
- Expand supply of affordable housing, housing choice and access to financing;
- Increase homeownership for low-income protected class members;
- Improve transportation for low-income and disabled persons;
- Enact local fair housing legislation, and increase outreach and education and anti-discrimination investigation, enforcement, and operations;
- Increase the level of fair housing knowledge and understanding among housing developers, real estate professionals, landlords and owners of private rental housing, elected officials, and the general public;
- Increase housing affordability, homeownership, resources for affordable housing, and accessibility;
- Increase rehabilitation, preservation, sustainability of affordable housing and program efficiency;
- Increase economic development, job creation, small business entrepreneurial opportunities and commercial corridor revitalization;
- Expand housing types and location; and
- Address issues associated with efforts to recover from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Ike.
For information and publications on fair housing, call HUD's Distribution Center at 1-800-767-7468.