New Hampshire Legal Assistance

Helping to balance the scales of justice for everyone since 1971.

Become a Fair Housing Tester!

Posted May 09, 2018

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act. By prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disability, in all types of housing and housing services, the FHA ensures equal housing opportunity. Because our homes are central to stability and success, determining where we work, go to school and build our communities, equal access to housing is a lynchpin civil rights issue.  

The Fair Housing Project received over 100 complaints of housing discrimination in New Hampshire in the past year, but we know that this represents a fraction of the discrimination occurring in our state. Often, victims of housing discrimination do not know that they have been discriminated against.  Many are greeted by landlords with a smile and a handshake before being denied an apartment because of their accent or the way they look.  To address this problem, we operate a testing program sending trained testers to rental properties to root out otherwise hidden discriminatory practices.  Through this program, the Fair Housing Project is able to compare the treatment of testers in protected classes to testers without those protected characteristics.  The results of our testing not only provide us with information on housing access in New Hampshire but are also valuable evidence that can be used during litigation. 

Testers are individuals who are trained to act as prospective tenants seeking rental housing and to gather information on possible housing discrimination. Successful testers are committed to justice, detailed observers, good writers/typists and punctual. 

The next Fair Housing Tester Training is: Wednesday, May 23, 5-8 p.m. at the Nashua Public Library, 2 court Street, Nashua. 

Testers receive a flat fee for $75 for attending the training once a practice test is completed, and $16/hour for tests after that. Testers typically participate in 2-4 tests per year and are critical to ending housing discrimination. 

If you have any questions, contact Liliana at 668-2900 x2214 or lneumann@nhla.org