FAIR HOUSING PROGRAM
The City of Knoxville’s Fair Housing Program endeavors to assure decent and suitable living conditions for every citizen. The fair housing law prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based on seven protected classes:
• National Origin
• Familial Status
Discrimination is defined as unfair treatment towards a person or a family that falls within the purview of any of the seven protected classes.
Rules of the law apply to an owner or any other person engaged in managing housing transactions. Implementation of the law applies to financial institutions, real estate brokers, builders, operators, developers, insurance agents, owners of managers of rental units, and individual owners who place their property on the real estate market by advertising or displaying a notice.
The City of Knoxville’s Fair Housing Opportunities Ordinance mirrors Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibits unlawful discrimination in housing.
(1) To “affirmatively further fair housing” with a focus on inclusion and achieving parity; and
(2) To research and analyze Knoxville’s housing posture, and identify actions and strategies that impact equal housing opportunities.
(1) To provide outreach activities which educate citizens, agencies and advocacy groups on their fair housing rights and responsibilities; and
(2) To train and assist housing, lending, human/social service organizations on
adhering to the fair housing law and implementing housing equality initiatives
What housing is covered under the law?
Housing practitioners are expected to comply with effective fair housing practices. The dwellings covered are
• Apartments rented or leased
• Houses sold or rented
• Boarding and rooming house rentals
• Mobile home parks
• Vacant property to be developed for housing
Other dwellings may include:
• Homeless/safety shelters
• Hotels and motels
Fair Housing Activities:
The programmatic thrust is to promote truth, justice, peace, fairness, equality and total goodwill. In administering the fair housing program, the City of Knoxville:
(1) Addresses questions and concerns from citizens regarding fair housing rights and make referrals;
(2) Serves as a resource on civil rights issues related to fair housing and equal opportunity;
(3) Promotes the fair housing law by providing trainings and work closely with housing practitioners, advocacy groups, human/social service agencies, community organizations and professional affiliates;
(4) Works with the Equality Coalition for Housing Opportunities (ECHO) in strengthening the promotion of housing equality;
(5) Serves as a sponsor of the annual Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Conference during April which is National Fair Housing month;
(6) Supports various community initiatives that have a focus on accessibility, heritage and multiculturalism. Some examples include the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Commission, ethnicity-based groups and disability rights organizations;
(7) Conducts fair housing presentations for housing practitioners and at area schools, colleges and universities;
(8) Provides exhibits at community functions and trade shows; and
(9) Promotes placement of the equal opportunity logo on all printed materials
Filing a compliant:
Through the federal Fair Housing Assistance Program, there is an investigative process for handling housing discrimination. Any citizen who has an inquiry, believes that he or she has experienced discrimination, or would like to file a complaint, may contact:
Tennessee Human Rights Commission
7175 Strawberry Plains, Suite 201
Knoxville, Tennessee 37914-7003
865-594-6500 or 800-251-3589