Housing Discrimination Law Project

The Housing Discrimination Law Project (HDLP) works to stop housing discrimination and to protect Vermonters' right to choose where they live. We represent individuals and organizations in court and before state agencies, housing authorities, municipal governments and the legislature.

We also provide help, advice and limited legal services to people who believe they may have been discriminated against. We conduct housing discrimination investigations to document the presence of housing discrimination in our communities, and we educate the public about housing discrimination practices and how they harm everyone.

If you are interested in becoming a housing discrimination tester, contact Vermont Legal Aid at 1-800-889-2047 (V/TTY).

The Housing Discrimination Law Project (HDLP) has developed online materials on a variety of housing topics. Access them on our VTLawHelp.org website.

Families welcome

After leaving an abusive boyfriend, Ashley had been couch-surfing with her infant daughter for months. She saw several ads for affordable apartments being advertised by a particular landlord. She inquired about the available units on multiple occasions, but the landlord always responded that the apartments weren’t appropriate for young children.

Ashley eventually called VLA for help. The HDLP conducted a series of investigative tests and found that the landlord consistently dissuaded the testers with young children from renting the apartment.

VLA represented Ashley in a case against the landlord. The strong testing evidence persuaded the landlord to settle the case. The landlord paid Ashley $6,000 in damages and had to undergo fair housing training. The landlord also had to include the language “families welcome” in all of her rental advertisements for one year.

The $6,000 settlement payment enabled Ashley to afford a new apartment – and to begin a better life with her daughter.

Name(s) and some details have been changed to protect anonymity and confidentiality.

More information

Need help?

You may qualify for legal help from Vermont Legal Aid. To ask for a referral to Vermont Legal Aid or other legal help:

  • use our Legal Help Tool on the VTLawHelp.org website, or
  • call our legal helpline at 1-800-889-2047.