Civil Rights; Housing; Housing Rights; Landlord Tenant; EvictionThe Fair Housing Project

The Lawyers’ Committee’s Fair Housing Project promotes housing equality by taking legal action against fair housing violations and by partnering with other advocacy groups to promote policies and practices that encourage equal housing opportunities in Massachusetts.

The Lawyers’ Committee predominantly focuses on fair housing violations based on either race or national origin discrimination. We also handle cases involving discrimination based on family status, citizenship status, disability, and Section 8 status. In recently years, our staff has litigated cases involving issues such as:

  • refusal by realtors and landlords to rent to individuals of color;
  • steering of potential homebuyers to less desirable properties;
  • discriminatory treatment in the terms of tenancy; and
  • racially-restrictive covenants in real estate advertisements.

We have also authored amicus curiae briefs regarding the disparate impact of the subprime mortgage industry on people of color.

Through the Fair Housing Project, the Lawyers’ Committee is also investigating various issues that contribute to housing segregation in Massachusetts, such as the use of criminal background checks to exclude individuals from renting and violations of Massachusetts lead paint law.