Know your housing rights

Housing discrimination is illegal in San Francisco. Learn what to do if you experience harassment or discrimination in your home or when applying for housing.

There are laws that protect your housing rights in San Francisco. People renting or selling homes and businesses that provide mortgages must follow these laws. 

Who is protected

You cannot be treated differently because of your:  

  • Age
  • AIDS/HIV status
  • Ancestry
  • Color
  • Creed (your beliefs and your habits based on those beliefs)
  • Disability 
  • Family status
  • Gender identity
  • Height
  • National origin
  • Place where you were born
  • Race
  • Religion 
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Source of income
  • Weight

What this means

People may not make housing decisions based on these facts about you. For example, they can not:

  • Refuse to rent or sell to you
  • Evict you 
  • Fail to make a reasonable accommodation
  • Change the terms of your housing 
  • Harass you
  • Refuse to provide services, repairs, facilities, and improvements
  • Lie about whether housing is available
  • Give you a higher interest rate 

What you can do if you experience discrimination in employment

If you have questions or believe your housing provider has discriminated against you, you can contact the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to file a complaint or get more information about how to protect your rights.

You can also file a discrimination complaint with a state or federal agency

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

Phone: 800-884-1684

DFEH complaint process

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Office of Fair Housing And Equal Opportunity

Phone: 800-347-3739 or 415-489-6524

File a complaint with HUD online

Last updated May 19, 2022

Departments or Public Bodies