*For Home Ownership Issues visit CONSUMER LAW
**For Housing Law Issues visit HOUSING LAW
FAIR HOUSING ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM (FHEP).
Fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in the rental sale, finance, or insurance of housing based upon certain protected categories. Please see Hawaii's Protected Classes below. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Fair Housing Enforcement Program (FHEP) aims to enforce fair housing laws by determining whether housing providers (landlords, lenders, sellers, etc.) are discriminating against individuals.
This website is designed to provide general information and should not
be utilized as a substitute for professional legal advice.
FAIR HOUSING BROCHURES
Fair Housing Program Information
Fair Housing for Those Living with a Disability
Fair Housing Animal/Pets Brochure
The FHEP offers statewide services to victims of housing discrimination, regardless of their income or assets. If you believe that you are a victim of ILLEGAL HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, please CONTACT US.
Fair housing laws make it ILLEGAL to discriminate in the rental, sale, financing, or insurance of housing based on these “Protected Classes”:
The following are
HAWAII'S PROTECTED CLASSES
1. RACE— A person’s race or the race of persons with whom one associates.
2. COLOR— A person’s skin color.
3. NATIONAL ORIGIN— The country of one’s birth or the nationality of one’s ancestors.
4. RELIGION— A person’s religious beliefs or denomination.
5. FAMILIAL/FAMILY STATUS— The make up of the family, including size of family, number of children, and pregnant women.
6. DISABILITY/HANDICAP— A physical or mental disability, which limits a major life activity like walking, breathing, learning, or sleeping.
7. SEX— A person’s gender, including sexual harassment or intimidation
The following are State Protected Classes:
8. AGE— The age of a person 18 years or older.
9. GENDER IDENTITY or EXPRESSION— Includes a person’s actual or perceived gender or gender-related expression or appearance.
10. SEXUAL ORIENTATION— Having a sexual preference or being identified or perceived as having a certain sexual preference.
11. MARITAL STATUS— Whether a person is married, single, divorced, or widowed.
12. HIV INFECTION
COMMON FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
· Refusal to sell or rent
· Application of different terms or conditions
· Denying availability of housing units
· Delaying Tactics
· Intimidation, coercion or retaliatory acts
FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
1. “REASONABLE MODIFICATION” – request for a PHYSICAL change to housing.
Example: Installing grab bars in showers
2. “REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS” – request for a change in an existing POLICY.
Example: Allowing a seeing eye dog in a no pet building
EXCEPTIONS TO INCOME & ASSET ELIGIBILITY
Legal Aid is allowed to waive the financial tests for certain clients contingent on funding from other sources.
• Big Island or Maui Seniors: Any Income
Change the funding code to: BIG ISLAND: Hawaii County Title III; MAUI: Maui County Title III Legal Aid has several federal grants to help the elderly (60+). Maui and the Big Island have Title III grants which pay them to do legal work for seniors. (UHELP has the Title III grant for Oahu.)
• Foreclosure/Reverse mortgage or Pre-purchase counseling: Any Income
Legal Aid has a federal grant from HUD to operate a housing counseling program. Anyone facing foreclosure should be routed to the HUD Housing counseling unit. You may call the general intake hotline during hotline hours.
• HUD Homeless – Oahu Only: Any Income
Callers who are homeless (being evicted within a week with no where to go; living on the beach, street, park or place not meant for human habitation; fleeing a domestic violence housing situation; living in an emergency shelter; living in transitional housing; or in a hospital or institution for a short stay or being discharged with no where to go) are eligible for legal services under this program.
• IRS Grant: Income up to 250% FPL
Callers are eligible for assistance with a tax dispute (this means pretty much any problem they are having with the IRS) regardless of their income. This is a statewide program, but all dockets should be forwarded to Honolulu.
• Housing Discrimination Grant: Any Income
Callers who are experiencing discrimination in any housing situation (renting a unit, financing a housing purchase, applying for subsidized housing, etc) can call our Fair Housing Enforcement Program 808-527-8024 on Oahu or 1-866-527-FAIR (3247) on the Neighbor Islands.
• KID’s 200 Grant: Income up to 200% FPL
Caller’s are eligible if they have children in the house or are a child themselves and meet one of the following six criteria: 1) There are legal barriers preventing self sufficiency, 2) There are children in the household confirmed by CPS for child abuse and neglect, 3) The children are in a violent household, 4) There are runaway or homeless children, 5) the children are being denied educational access, or 6) There are teenage parents involved. Eligibility forms need to be completed.
• Affordable Lawyers: Gap Group Income
(between 125% FPL and 250% FPL)
Legal Aid's Affordable Lawyers Project offers legal services for a below market rate fee. Give applicants who are eligible for this program the number of the Affordable Lawyers Project on their island to call themselves. Do not open a docket. NOTE: Honolulu handles affordable lawyers cases for Oahu; Maui, Kauai, Kona and Hilo each handle their own cases.