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Fair Housing Division

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The Fair Housing Division of the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) is responsible for investigating charges of unlawful discrimination involving real estate transactions for residential (housing) or commercial property. The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits housing discrimination in real estate transactions based on: 

Race Sex Age (40 and older)
Color Sexual Orientation Military Status
Ancestry Marital Status Unfavorable Discharge
from Military Service
National Origin Pregnancy Arrest Record
Religion Familial Status
(families w/ children
under 18 years old)
Source of Income
Disability Order of Protection Status Immigration Status
(effective 1/1/24)

The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in all aspects of real estate transactions, including renting or leasing, home sales, mortgage lending and insurance, advertising, practices such as restrictive covenants, and new construction. The law also prohibits aiding and abetting unlawful discrimination, intimidation and interference in the exercise or enjoyment of an individual’s fair housing rights, and retaliation against an individual for opposing what they reasonably believe is unlawful discrimination.

The Fair Housing provisions of the Illinois Human Rights Act apply to landlords, owners, property management companies, real estate agents, home sellers, builders, appraisers, mortgage lenders (banks and loan brokers), third-party loan modification service providers and any other person engaged in a real estate transaction.


If you believe you have experienced unlawful discrimination in housing and wish to file a charge of discrimination, you must provide basic information about the alleged discrimination, in writing, to IDHR within One Year (365 days) of the last incident of the alleged discrimination.*  Use IDHR’s Fair Housing complaint form to submit your complaint.

* NOTE: If you have filed a fair housing complaint with The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), your complaint will likely be forwarded here to IDHR for investigation. Learn more about our federal-state partnership below. 

When you submit a fair housing complaint, your case will be assigned to intake staff who will review your allegations to determine whether to file a formal charge for investigation. If your case is accepted for investigation, an investigator will interview you and the other parties and witnesses to obtain relevant documents. The investigator will determine if there is substantial evidence of discrimination in your case. 

In many cases, the investigator can help the parties resolve the matter.  A voluntary settlement between the parties may involve payment of money, granting an accommodation request, approving a housing application, training housing providers, posting information on fair housing in common areas, or other appropriate relief. 

Where the investigation leads to substantial evidence finding of discrimination, you can choose to have the case heard administratively before the Illinois Human Rights Commission or in circuit court, in which case the Illinois Attorney General's Office represents the Department.

For more information, see our: 

Relationship with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

IDHR has had a work sharing relationship with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 2002 under the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP). HUD refers cases to IDHR, which IDHR dockets and investigates in accordance with the Illinois Human Rights Act. When charges are filed directly with IDHR, IDHR cross-files those cases with HUD.


There are housing laws and regulations at different levels of government. Learn more about each law by following the links below.

Federal Law

State Law


The community can also reach out to schedule a presentation or to invite IDHR to participate in your event. For more information please contact IDHR by submitting an online inquiry.

Learn and share important information about housing rights in Illinois with these additional resources provided by IDHR and our federal, state, and local partners.


    IDHR Fair Housing Brochure: A Guide for Fair Housing

    Available in English, Spanish, Polish, French, and Chinese

    IDHR Fair Housing Posters **

    Available in English and Spanish

    ** Use these posters if you are required to display a Fair Housing poster.




In addition to investigating complaints of discrimination in housing, the Fair Housing Division conducts presentations for government agencies and community-based groups regarding fair housing rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act.

The Fair Housing Division works on a variety of educational projects to increase public awareness of fair housing and participates in fairs, seminars, conferences and workshops statewide.

To invite IDHR to participate in an event or training, contact IDHR's Fair Housing division through our online 'Contact IDHR' form or contact the Fair Housing division at (312) 814-6229.


IDHR offers education and outreach to home seekers, landlords, property owners, community organizations, individuals, and groups. This includes the free, quarterly compliance trainings focused on Basic Fair Housing. Click the tab below to learn more.


IDHR & Fair Housing Resource Workshop 2023

"The State of Fair Housing in Illinois" - 2022 Event

Access this IDHR Fair Housing division hosted event of April 26, 2022
Access event details, video, presentation materials and more


If you have questions or would like to talk with a Fair Housing Investigator, please submit your inquiry through the online 'Contact IDHR' form.