Anyone can file a complaint with HUD at no cost. Fair housing complaints can be filed by an entity, including individuals and community groups. Those that file fair housing complaints are known complainants. Those against fair housing complaints are filed are called respondents.
After HUD has received the initial information, an intake specialist will contact the complainant and interview him or her to collect facts about the alleged discrimination. Initial interviews are normally conducted by telephone. The intake specialist with then review the allegations to determine whether the matter is jurisdictional.
If HUD has the authority to investigate, it will file the complaint. If the allegations do not fall within HUD's jurisdiction, for example if the complaint does not allege housing discrimination, HUD cannot accept the complaint and must close the case.
If the alleged discrimination occurred within a state or locality in HUD's Fair Housing Assistance Program*, HUD will refer the complaint to that agency. That agency must begin to work with the complainant within 30 days, or HUD can take the complaint back.