skip to main content

Office of Civil Rights

Commitment to Equality

King County Office of Civil Rights
Kelli Williams, Director
Chinook Building
401 Fifth Avenue
Suite 215
Seattle, WA 98104

TTY Relay: 711
206-296-4329 Fax

Hours: Weekdays
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

People with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations from OCR.

Let OCR know if you need a foreign language interpreter.

Fair Housing Services

Complaint Resolution

We investigate and resolve complaints alleging discrimination in contracting which violates the King County Fair Housing Ordinance, King County Code, Title 12, Chapter 20. This Ordinance prohibits unfair housing practices in the rental, sale, or financing of housing because of a person's protected class:

  • race
  • color
  • national origin
  • ancestry
  • disability and use of a service animal
  • gender
  • parental status
  • marital status
  • religion
  • participation in Section 8 voucher program or other similar government housing subsidy programs
  • sexual orientation (includes gender identity)
  • age

Retaliation is prohibited

It is discriminatory practice and unlawful for any person, whether acting on his or her own behalf or for another, to retaliate by taking action against another person because the other person:

  • Opposed any practice forbidden by this chapter;
  • Complied or proposed to comply with this chapter or any order issued under this chapter; or
  • Filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing initiated under this chapter.

Covered by this ordinance are those involved in real estate transactions, including:

  • Property owners
  • Property managers
  • Real estate brokers or agents
  • Housing developers and contractors
  • Government
  • Mortgage lenders and financial institutions
  • Advertising media

Types of real property covered include:

  • Houses sold, leased or rented
  • Apartments leased or rented
  • Condominiums sold, leased or rented
  • Cooperatives
  • Rooming houses
  • Mobile home parks
  • Housing construction sites
  • Empty lots

What is prohibited?

In the sale and rental of housing

No one may take any of the following actions based on the protected classes listed above:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.

In mortgage lending

No one may take any of the following actions based on the protected classes listed above:

  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan or
  • Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan.
In Addition -- It is illegal for anyone to:
  • Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
  • Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on protected class. (This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.)

Additional protection for people with disabilities

A housing provider may not:

  • Refuse to let a tenant make reasonable modifications to a dwelling or common use areas, at the tenant's expense, if necessary for the tenant to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the housing provider may permit changes only if the tenant agrees to restore the property to its original condition when he/she moves.)
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the tenant to use the housing.

Quick links

Free Fair Housing Workshops
Fair Housing Workshops for Renters
Fair Housing Resources
HUD Resources
Fair Housing Articles
Fair Housing Booklist
Housing Videos
OCR Map & Directions
File a Discrimination Complaint
en Espanol
OCR KidsWeb

Get Fair Housing Updates!