Know Your Rights: Housing Discrimination

I have talked previously about rights Chicagoans have as tenants, but what about the rights Chicagoans have as they try to become tenants? This post will help explain what, if any, discrimination is allowed when a Chicagoan tries to find housing.

Firstly, any person that manages in any manner a public accommodation (own, lease, etc.) CANNOT deny someone access to that public accomidation based on the applicant's:

  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. Sex
  4. Gender Identity
  5. Age
  6. Religion
  7. Disability
  8. National Origin
  9. Ancestry
  10. Sexual Orientation
  11. Marital Status
  12. Parental Status
  13. Military Discharge Status
  14. Source of Income

However, these prohibitions DO NOT apply to the following places:

(a) a private club whose products, facilities or services are available to the general public or to the customers or patrons of another establishment that is a public accommodation;

(b) a facility, which is private in nature, such as restrooms, shower rooms, etc. (This subsection is regarding gender/sex-based discrimination.);

(c) a facility that restricts rental of residential or sleeping rooms to individuals of one sex;

(d) any educational institution that restricts enrollment of students to individuals of one sex.

Lastly, taking into regards sections a-d, any person may use a public accommodation that is open to persons of the sex or gender on that person's government issued identification. So, transgenders might run into difficulty in the implementation of this law. However, there are many other aspects that are protected under this law. If you find yourself the victim of discrimination, please contact the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.


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