Fair Housing

The Planning & Development Board will hold this meeting as a virtual meeting on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm

HEARING ITEM - FY21-25 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

 Newton Fair Housing Committee


The City of Newton agreed with HUD in 2015 to “…review all applicable projects for their inclusion of fair housing goals and note in writing in all applicable project reviews a statement that ‘the objectives of the City’s Consolidated Plan, including fair housing, have been considered in this review’” as a part of the Engine 6 Conciliation Agreement. That charge complements the usual review by City staff in that it is asking for review that focuses on goals and policies that are documented in a plan and asks about the consideration of those goals and policies, not necessarily consistency with them.

The City has a well-structured process for reviewing project proposals at the various stages in moving from conceptual early sketches to highly detailed construction documents, with a good record in timely reviews and inspections. However, there is less structure and documentation at early stages regarding objective consistency with considerations that are documented not in regulations but rather in less-familiar documents which bear on fair housing, including the Newton Consolidated Plan



July 1, 2020

"Black renters face egregious housing discrimniotation, study shows" - Boston Globe


Qualified Renters Need Not ApplyRace and Voucher Discrimination in theMetro Boston Rental Housing Market 

December 19, 2017

Boston. Racism. Image. Reality - Boston Globe

In December 2017 the Boston Globe Spotlight team worked on a seven part series focusing on Racism in the City of Boston.

Website: Boston. Racism. Reality


Sunday, Dec. 10: Boston. Racism. Image. Reality. The Spotlight Team takes on our hardest question: Does Boston deserve its racist reputation?

Monday, Dec. 11: A brand-new Boston, even whiter than the old

Tuesday, Dec. 12: Color line persists, in sickness as in health

Wednesday, Dec. 13:Lost on campus, in a sea of white

Thursday, Dec. 14: The bigot in the stands, and other stories

Friday, Dec. 15: For blacks in Boston, a power outage

Saturday, Dec. 16: A better Boston? The choice is ours


October 23, 2017  - 

Fair Housing Compliance:  Considerations for Land Use, Zoning, Planning Decisions - Interactive Worksop

Presented by: Jennifer M. Goldson, AICP, Founder of JM Goldson Community Preservation & Planner

Hosted by:  The Newton Zoning and Planning Committee in coordination with the Newton Fair Housing Committee and the Planning and Development Department.

The workshop presentation can be found here and the handout can is be found here

HUD and DOJ Update Fair Housing Act Guidance about Land Use Laws  See Document Here


Newton's Fair Housing Committee submitted a report, "Fair Housing in the Newton Housing Strategy" on October 7, 2016.

WestMetro HOME Consortium Regional Fair Housing Plan and Appendices

What is fair housing?
When looking to buy or rent a property it is important to know that you are protected under fair housing laws. Fair housing laws are some of the strongest civil rights statutes on the books. Federal and State laws make it illegal to discriminate against people when renting or purchasing a unit based on any of the following:

    • Race
    • Disability
    • Color
    • Ancestry
    • Religious creed
    • Marital status
    • National origin
    • Family status (families with children under 18)
    • Sex
    • Veteran status or membership in the armed forces of the United States
    • Age
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Genetic information
    • Gender identity or expression
    • Status as a person who is a recipient of federal, state, or local public assistance or who is a tenant receiving federal, state or local housing subsidies including rental assistance or rental supplements
  • Click HERE if you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination
  • Pulse aquí para aprender acerca de sus derechos de vivienda justa o si usted cree que ha sido víctima de discriminación por vivienda.

The law also covers advertising, including making discriminatory statements. Ads which express a preference for, or exclusion of, a particular group of people are illegal. In addition, there is a duty to provide reasonable accommodations to a person with a disability when it is necessary to ensure an equal housing opportunity.

Examples of behavior that MAY be housing discrimination include:

  • You call and get an appointment to look at a house, but when you get there, you are told that the house was just sold.
  • You are told that the apartment has been rented, but it is listed in the paper again.
  • You are told a higher selling price than what was advertised, or than what you heard others being told.
  • You are told that they cannot rent to families with children because the house has lead paint.
  • You are given terms of rental or sale which are different than those given to other persons.
  • You are directed to or away from certain neighborhoods based on race, national origin, religion, or disability.

If you think you have been discriminated against:
Contact the
Newton Human Rights Commission and File a Complaint. Your claim will be reviewed and investigated, and if appropriate, the Commission will try to resolve it by working directly with both sides. Funding for the City of Newton's fair housing website provided by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Fair Housing Initiative Program Grant. Contents of the website developed by the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston and the City of Newton.

Recent Fair Housing Developments:


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