State and federal laws protect your right to fair housing, whether you are renting, buying, or leasing a property.

Federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (presence of children), or disability. Massachusetts state law also includes protections for individuals based on their ancestry, marital status, public assistance recipiency (i.e. Section 8 benefits), sexual orientation, age (excluding minors), gender identity, and service as a veteran and/or armed forces member.

If you are an individual with a disability who needs a reasonable accommodation and/or reasonable modification, you have rights to accommodations and modifications under the law. The Fair Housing Act defines a reasonable modification as a structural change made to the premises whereas a reasonable accommodation is a change, exception, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or service. The right to a reasonable modification can extend beyond the unit to the public and common areas.

Not sure if you have been a victim of housing discrimination? Housing discrimination can include:

  • refusing to rent or lease a property to individuals because of their membership in a protected class, such as race or national origin,
  • refusing to rent or lease a property to individuals because they have children, and
  • refusing, after a request by a person with a disability, to make changes to a property or policy when necessary for an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy that property.

Attorney Melissa Pomfred has experience representing individuals whose fair housing rights have been violated. She has represented tenants in litigation, negotiation and settlement in the State and Federal Courts, as well as before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Attorney Pomfred can explain your rights and suggest a plan to achieve your goals. Whether you want sound advice to proceed on your own or aggressive legal representation, Pomfred Law Offices, PLLC can help you.