Chicago Housing Providers Accused of Discriminating Against Deaf

Five housing providers in Chicago are facing lawsuits accusing them of discriminating against people who are deaf. The complaints, filed by Access Living earlier this month, allege that the housing providers violated fair housing law by denying rental options to members of the deaf community because of their disability.

The complaints were based upon fair housing tests, involving matched pairs of testers, conducted by Access Living. Deaf testers called housing providers using the Internet Protocol Relay System (IP Relay), an Internet-based system that allows people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate by telephone. Non-disabled testers called the housing provider using a standard telephone.

In each of the five complaints, the housing providers are accused of discriminating against the disabled tester by abruptly hanging up on the tester, refusing to provide information, not returning phone calls, or providing different pricing information than was provided to the non-deaf tester.

Source: Access Living