New Hampshire Legal Assistance

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


Become a part of our housing justice team as a paid housing discrimination tester

Posted May 16, 2017

Fair housing opens doors. While much progress has been made to provide equal access to housing, the work to encourage open communities and end discrimination is on-going. Periodic tests evaluating housing opportunities to determine where certain protected groups face discrimination is a key component in this continued fight. 

The Fair Housing Project trains community members to participate in this work as fair housing testers. 

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 punctual, detailed observers with good writing or typing skills, who are committed to justice. 

Testers receive a flat fee of $75 for the training once a practice test is completed, and $16 per hour afterward. Testers are independent contractors who are usually asked to participate in 2-to-4 tests each year. Testers are critical to our work seeking to end housing discrimination. 

Being involved in the Fair Housing Testing program is also a way to learn new skills, meet interesting people and work on an exciting civil rights project that has the power to improve the lives and futures of families across our state.

Our next tester training is scheduled for:

Thursday, August 10, 5-8 p.m.,

at the Manchester office of New Hampshire Legal Assistance, 1850 Elm Street, Suite 7, Manchester, NH 03104

Interested in attending, but have more questions? Call Liliana Neumann at 668-2900, ext 2214

What can Fair Housing testing accomplish? 

WMUR, May 16, 2017: NHLA's Fair Housing testing confirms Dover apartment complex was violating Fair Housing Act:

The case came to HUD's attention when a mother filed a complaint alleging that she had been denied the opportunity to rent a two-bedroom unit because she has a child.

After an investigation, HUD filed a charge on behalf of the woman, alleging that after the manager learned that she had an infant son, he told her that she could only rent a first-floor units, none of which was available.

The charge further asserts that New Hampshire Legal Assistance Fair Housing Project conducted testing which revealed similar treatment of testers posing as prospective renters with children.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to families with children under age 18.

Union Leader, November 10, 2016: NHLA Fair Housing Project defends the rights of families with children in Keene 

According to the charges filed by HUD, a couple responded to a newspaper ad for a “huge” apartment with a garage that was available for rent. When the wife called the landlord, he allegedly told her he was not interested in renting to "anyone with children,” according to court documents.  After the woman posted about the experience on social media, New Hampshire Legal Assistance’s Fair Housing Project arranged for two “fair housing testers” to contact the landlord.

The landlord allegedly told one of the NHLA representatives that he wanted to rent to a couple or single person and that he had evicted the previous tenants because they were “white trash” with three kids “who made a mess.” 

Under federal law, it is illegal to refuse to rent to someone because of familial status.