Fair Housing Center of Washington Logo Fair Housing Center of Washington
Embracing Diversity, Ensuring Equality

Housing Discrimination Complaints

Individuals who reside in western or central Washington and have an allegation of discrimination relating to a housing transaction may contact the Fair Housing Center of Washington. Staff will conduct an intake to ensure that the housing issue relates specifically to a protected class under federal, state or local fair housing laws. Protected classes include:

Federal Protected Classes - Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, Religion, Familial Status (presence of children under 18) & Disability

State Protected Classes - (in addition to the federal protected classes) Marital Status, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Veteran’s Status

Local - (click here for protected classes chart)

Fair Housing Center staff assists persons with disabilities with reasonable accommodations or reasonable modifications (Click here for reasonable accommodation/modification information)

If you would like to file a complaint or need assistance with a reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification please contact (253) 274-9523 or info@fhcwashington.org

Testing for Housing Discrimination

The Fair Housing Center is the only entity in Western Washington that provides fair housing testing services. Since 1995, the agency’s pool of trained testers has conducted approximately 2,000 rental, sales and mortgage lending tests spanning from the Canadian/Oregon borders and the Pacific Ocean to Yakima in Central Washington. This includes successful complaint based and audit testing for discrimination against persons with disabilities, national origin, sex, familial status, marital status, religion, Section 8, sexual orientation, gender identity and race. Audit testing has taken place in the counties of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Clark, Cowlitz, Jefferson, Kitsap and Clallam. The Fair Housing Center has also completed retail testing under contract.

Testing refers to the use of individuals who, without a bona fide intent to rent or purchase a home, apartment, or other dwelling, pose as prospective renters or purchasers for the purpose of gathering information which may indicate whether a housing provider is complying with fair housing laws.
The courts have consistently determined that testing is a legitimate and lawful activity. In Zuch v. Hussey (U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1977), the court stated that "Evidence gathered by a tester may, in many cases, be the only competent evidence available to prove that the defendant has engaged in unlawful conduct."

Become a Tester

If you are interested in becoming a tester, you must complete a tester application to include filling out a Washington State Patrol Criminal History form. Testers must not have any history of felony convictions, interest in the outcome of the testing, be a real estate professional or a conflict of interest relating to any housing, loan or insurance entity.

For more information on becoming a tester please contact us by phone at (253) 274-9523 or by e
-mail info@fhcwashington.org.

Contract Testing

The Fair Housing Center has completed testing under contract for the following entities:

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
National Fair Housing Alliance
Washington State Human Rights Commission
Seattle Office for Civil Rights
King County Office of Civil Rights
Tacoma Human Rights & Human Services
Northwest Fair Housing Alliance
City of Bellingham
Individual Private Housing Providers

If you are interested in discussing a private fair housing testing contract please contact us by phone at
(253) 274-9523 or by e-mail at info@fhcwashington.org.

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1517 S. Fawcett, Suite 250, Tacoma, Washington 98402,  Phone: 253.274.9523 or 1.888.766.8800 Fax: 253.274.8220 E-mail: info@fhcwashington.org
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