IowaLegalAid.orgIowa

What Should a Person Who Has Been Discriminated Against in Housing Do?

Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid LSC Funded
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Spanish / EspaƱol

Information

In general, a victim of housing discrimination can do any or all of the following things. Keep in mind that the Iowa law and federal law are very similar, but it is possible that some actions might violate one but not the other. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission can give more information about what each law covers.

  1. A victim of discrimination can file a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC). The time limit for filing a complaint with the ICRC is 300 days from the time the discrimination happened. To do this, you can:
    • Click here to get to the ICRC website with details on the process in English and Spanish plus the forms to file a complaint. The full URL is:
      https://icrc.iowa.gov/file-complaint
    • You can reach the ICRC toll-free at 1-800-457-4416, or in Des Moines calling area at (515) 281-4121. The Fax number is (515) 242-5840.
    • You can write to the ICRC at:
      Iowa Civil Rights Commission
      Grimes State Office Building
      400 E. 14th Street
      Des Moines, IA 50319-1004
  2. A victim of discrimination can file a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The time limit for filing a complaint with HUD is one year from the time the discrimination happened. To reach HUD, you can:
    • Click here to go to their website (The full URL is: http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/index.cfm ) which includes an online complaint form along with details on federal housing discrimination laws.
    • You can reach HUD toll-free at NATIONAL HUD DISCRIMINATION HOTLINE 1-800-927-9277 or TYY 1-800-927-9275.
    • Write to HUD at the address below:
      U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Region VII Office of Fair Housing
      Gateway Tower II
      400 State Avenue
      Kansas City, Kansas 66101-2406.
  3. A victim of discrimination can file a lawsuit without going to either the ICRC or HUD first. A lawsuit has to be filed within two years of the time the discrimination happened.

A lawyer can explain what the best remedy is in a particular situation.

Since you only have a limited time to file a complaint, it is important to contact an attorney, Fair Housing Office, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, or U.S. Department of HUD as soon as you believe you have been discriminated against.

Last Review and Update: Jul 10, 2009
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