Fair Housing

Virginia's Fair Housing Law makes it illegal to discriminate in residential housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, disability, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, or military status. The law prohibits applying one standard to one class of individuals while applying a different standard to another category.

The Department of Housing and Community Development complies with the Fair Housing Act and provides reasonable accommodations and modifications to persons with disabilities. The City of Norfolk does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, disability, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law in admission, access to, treatment or employment in its federally assisted programs or activities.

To File a Fair Housing Complaint with the Virginia Fair Housing Office: 


Complaints must be filed in writing within one year after the alleged discriminatory housing practice occurred or terminated. Once the Fair Housing Office accepts a complaint for investigation, the complaint is assigned to an investigator. The purpose of the investigation is to gather facts about the complaint. An investigator generally interviews the complainant, the respondent, and relevant witnesses. The investigator may also review documents and records.

After the investigation is complete, the investigator writes a final investigative report (FIR). The FIR summarizes the information obtained during the investigation, including contacts with the complainant and respondent, witnesses’ statements, and records obtained and examined during the investigation.

If conciliation is successful and both parties reach an agreement, the Board may vote to accept the conciliation agreement. If conciliation is unsuccessful in resolving the complaint, or if the Board fails to accept an agreement, the Board will either dismiss the complaint or determine if reasonable cause exists to support a charge of discrimination. In cases where the Board determines reasonable cause and issues a charge of discrimination, the Attorney General's Office brings civil suit in circuit court seeking relief for the complainant.

City Assistance for Rental-Related Concerns

The City of Norfolk has a Landlord and Tenant Relations Officer that can assist you with any rental-related concerns. This resource is available when issues arise between a landlord and a tenant and/or when general advice is needed. Contact the City’s Landlord & Tenant Relations Officer through the Norfolk Cares Center at (757) 664-6510. Fair Housing Rights Poster Opens in new windowDiscrimination and Fair Housing Rights Poster Opens in new window



Fair Housing Laws and Codes

Fair Housing Literature