In Massachusetts, there are a broad array of legal protections against housing discrimination offered to a prospective tenant, to a current tenant and offered to a prospective purchaser of a home. There are federal, state and generally municipal laws which prohibit discrimination in the sale or rental of housing on the following bases:

1. Race;
2. Veteran’s status;
3. Source of income, e.g., Section 8 benefits;
4. Children;
5. Marital status;
6. Religion;
7. Sexual orientation (this discrimination excludes those whose sexual preference involves minor children as the sex object);
8. Sex;
9. Age; and
10. Disability and a number of other bases.

Unlawful discrimination is an ugly fact of life. Discrimination in housing creates not only a deep, personal emotional hurt, but this pain is frequently exacerbated by the uncertainty of not knowing where one will live. Housing discrimination damages for the victim may now encompass money for emotional distress, out-of-pocket expenses, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

Both by reason of Mr. Ward’s having authored a book on the subject and by virtue of the firm’s experience in discrimination cases, Ward & Associates is well suited to handle the legal and emotional aspects of resolving housing discrimination claims.

Because the statute of limitations, in other words, the date by which you must file a complaint or lose the right to do so, varies depending on the legal basis, it is best to seek legal assistance and to file a housing discrimination claim as quickly as possible. The filing deadline for housing discrimination claims under the Massachusetts statute was recently extended from six months to twelve months after the alleged discrimination occurred.

Our firm has recently settled a source-of-income discrimination claim for a near record amount outside of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, plus attorney’s fees of $30,000. The anti-discrimination laws offer attorney’s fees to the winning claimant under what is known as fee-shifting statutes. This means that if the claimant wins, the landlord or seller can be made to pay the claimant’s attorney’s fees in addition to a damage award. Thus, persons who might not otherwise be able to afford an attorney can be represented on this basis.

If you or someone you know has suffered from housing discrimination, please contact us to obtain a consultation. We can then discuss the facts of your case, the attorney’s fees statutes, filing deadlines and other pertinent issues.

Call us today and let us put our in-depth experience to work
for you solving your legal problems:

Ward & Associates Attorneys at Law

21 Oak Square Avenue
Brighton, MA 02135

617-202-5200 (Office)
617-202-4417 (Fax)