IDHR Fair Housing Division

Charge Investigation Program Highlights 

  • The Fair Housing Division of the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("the Department") investigates charges involving real estate transactions (housing) on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation (including gender-related identity), national origin, ancestry, age (40 and over), marital status, physical, mental and perceived disability, familial status (children under 18), pregnancy, military status, and unfavorable discharge from military service.
  • It is also a civil rights violation to aid, abet, compel or coerce someone to commit a violation of the Human Rights Act; to intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of his or her rights related to fair housing or real estate transactions under the Human Rights Act; and to retaliate against someone for opposing what he or she reasonably believes is discrimination under the Human Rights Act.
  • Within one year of an occurrence of an alleged civil rights violation, the Complainant may file a charge of discrimination with the Intake Unit of the Charge Processing Division.
  • Staff in the Fair Housing Division investigates the charge and discusses the possibility of a voluntary settlement with the parties.  In many cases, an investigator conducts an on-site investigation to interview witnesses and obtain pertinent documentation.  If the Department dismisses the case for lack of substantial evidence, the Complainant has 30 days to file a Request for Review (appeal) of that dismissal with the Department's Chief Legal Counsel.
  • Where the investigation leads to a substantial evidence finding of discrimination, and conciliation is not successful, the Complainant or Respondent (the party alleged to have discriminated) can elect to have the case heard administratively before the Illinois Human Rights Commission or in circuit court, in which case the Illinois Attorney General's Office represents the Department.
  • For more information on the Charge Investigation program, see the Procedures for Investigating Housing Charges, and the Annual Report Information.

For more information on how to file a housing discrimination complaint, 

Contact IDHR Fair Housing Division:
(312) 814-6229


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