|Caribou Municipal Building|
25 High Street
Caribou, Maine 04736
|Phone: (207) 493-4234|
Fax: (207) 376-0178
It is important to understand the basic rights provided to you under Fair Housing laws. The idea is simple: everyone has the right to live anywhere he/she wants (and can afford) to live. Fair Housing laws apply to both individuals and families whether they are Voucher Holders or not.
There are different laws that protect you from discrimination based on the following:
While all property owners must adhere to Fair Housing Laws, these laws do not require an owner to rent to anyone. Owners have the right to screen applicants based on legal guidelines and procedures. Some owners may require you to go through a formal screening process that may include:
- Checking credit history and references
- Conducting a criminal background check
- Reviewing previous rental history
- Filling out an application form
- Making home visits
Fair Housing Laws require an owner to treat all applicants the same. For example, if an owner conducts home visits as a part of the screening process, the owner must conduct home visits for every applicant. If the screening uncovers information that indicates that you may not pay the rent on time or that you may damage the property, then the owner does not have to accept you as a tenant.
Under the Fair Housing Act, it is against the law for owners or property managers to:
- Refuse to rent or negotiate because of a person’s protected status
- Impose different terms or conditions because of a person’s protected status
- Make discriminatory statements or publish discriminatory communications
- Lie about the availability of a dwelling because of a person’s protected status
- Coerce or intimidate an applicant who has filed a fair housing complaint
- Steer” applicants (Illegally guide renters to a particular area based on the ‘makeup’ of the building or neighborhood)
For more information on Fair Housing, click here.
When you apply for Section 8 assistance you are required to sign a consent form called the Authorization for the Release of Information/Privacy Act Notice. By signing this form, you authorize HUD and CHA to request income information from the identified sources listed on the form.
This information will be used to verify your household ‘s income, to ensure that you are eligible for assistance, and to ensure that you receive the correct amount of assistance. CHA may utilize computer matching programs with these sources to verify your eligibility and to determine the amount of your assistance.
Before you sign any documents, make sure that you read them thoroughly and that you understand them. If you do not understand something on the application or forms, always ask questions.