Fair Housing means the right for a person to live where they choose to, free from discrimination. In the City of Chicago, the law that governs Fair Housing is the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance (CFHO) enforced by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR). The CFHO prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, military, and source of income.
The Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) is charged with enforcing the CFHO and the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (CHRO) which covers employment, public accommodations, credit, and bonding discrimination. Since the 1990 amendments to the CFHO and the CHRO, the CCHR has enforced these laws by providing a neutral forum for the investigation and adjudication of discrimination complaints filed under these ordinances. The CCHR investigates complaints to determine whether discrimination may have occurred, and uses its enforcement powers to punish acts of discrimination. The strength of the CFHO itself, along with the high quality of investigation and adjudication which is conducted through the CCHR, has been an important resource for fair housing enforcement in the city.
The CFHO gives the CCHR a broad mandate to investigate, mediate, and adjudicate complaints of housing discrimination in Chicago based on at least one of the 14 "protected classes": race, sex, color, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, military status, and source of income. The alleged discrimination must have occurred in Chicago and a complaint must be filed within 300 days of the incident, for incidents of discrimination occurring on or after January 23, 2019.