Fair Housing

Central Texas has excellent regional resources that specialize in housing advocacy and provide helpful guidance to numerous housing issues including Fair Housing. 

Austin Tenants Council

About The Austin Tenants Council

The Fair Housing Program advises tenants on issues related to housing discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, and familiar status.

Fair Housing Specialists can serve as tenants' advocates as they:

  • Request resonable accomodations from landlords to make housing accessible for disabled tenants. 
  • File discrimination complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and navigate the investigation process that follows. 
  • The program also performs Fair Housing testing to collect evidence of discriminatory practices in the Austin rental market. 

The Housing Advocacy Program offers counseling regarding a variety of tenant-landlord issues over the phone and online. Residents of San Marcos and students at Texas State University can call 512.474.1961, Monday through Thursday from 9AM until 12PM and 1 PM until 4 PM and Friday from 9AM until 12PM. Online intake forms may be submitted any time through our website, www.housing-rights.org. Common issues include how to obtain one's security deposit, the repair process, and information regarding a notice to vacate or eviction.

Fair Housing - It's Your Right!

Every American has a right to fair housing. The right to live where you choose, to raise a family, to own a home - in dignity and without fear of discrimination - is a fundamental right guaranteed to all.

This right is guaranteed by the Fair Housing Act, a federal law enacted in 1968 to be sure that everyone looking for a place to live is treated equally.

Equal Housing Opportunity Logo

It makes it illegal to refuse to rent or sell or make a mortgage loan to a person based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status. Familial status means you cannot discriminate against families in which one or more children under age 18 live with a parent or legal guardian or against pregnant women.

The Fair Housing Act is overseen by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City of San Marcos and HUD want you to know how you are protected and what to do if you believe you have been discriminated against.

How to File a Complaint

Complaints about housing discrimination must be filed within one year of the event in which you believe housing discrimination occurred.

You can file a complaint electronically or find more information about Fair Housing on the HUD Website or by calling the Fair Housing Hotline at 800-669-9777 (TDD 800-669-9777). 

Write a Letter

You can write a letter to HUD that includes the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the person your complaint is about
  • The address of the house or apartment you were trying to rent or buy
  • The date the incident occurred
  • A short description of what happened.

Your letter should be mailed to:
Fort Worth Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
801 Cherry Street, Unit Number 45
Suite 2500
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Phone: 817-978-5900
Phone: 800-669-9777
TTY 817-978-5595

For more information or to obtain assistance locally contact Community Initiatives at 512-805-2644.

*Important: No legal advice is given. All guidance is for educational purposes only and should not be considered conclusive or a substitute for legal advice. Anyone needing legal assistance should contact an attorney.