Technical Assistance Guide

Rhode Island Housing is very pleased to bring you information on Fair Housing Laws and Affirmative Fair Housing responsibilities. The Fair Housing RI Technical Assistance Guide was produced as part of the Fair Housing RI campaign. It was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Fair Housing, and they have approved its contents.

Fair Housing RI is a statewide coordinated campaign administered by Rhode Island Housing. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness about state and federal fair housing rights and responsibilities and to create a central fair housing resource center at fairhousingri.org. Rhode Island Housing’s partners in this initiative include the Housing Network of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission. The Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights serves in a consultant capacity in support of the initiative.

The purpose of the Fair Housing RI Technical Assistance Guide is to give general information regarding fair housing rights and responsibilities. Rhode Island Housing is committed to achieving equitable availability of good homes for all Rhode Islanders. Rules or actions that limit access to housing by granting preferences to or failing to reach certain populations may violate fair housing standards. Even rules and practices that serve certain otherwise legitimate public purposes can result in unlawful discrimination. We urge everyone to have an open and transparent marketing and resident selection process. We strongly encourage all municipalities and developers to undertake affirmative marketing efforts in order to reach residents statewide.

Sponsors, developers, sellers, renters and managers of housing should be aware and understand that just because something is not expressly prohibited by federal law does not mean that it is lawful. Rhode Island laws and regulations may apply standards that differ from federal law, and state and federal court decisions also provide guidance as to the application of laws and policies. Moreover, various funding programs may have their own fair housing requirements that go beyond federal law.

This guide provides information about the law, and is designed to help users understand general fair housing principles. However, legal information is not the same as legal advice: the application of law to specific circumstances. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

Some of the information contained in the guide is subject to change. To download and print the guide, click on the links provided. If you would like to request a printed copy of the guide, or if you have any questions, please contact Rhode Island Housing at 401 457-1234.

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