10/29/2020 in News & Media, NFHA News, Press Releases

NFHA Files Federal Discrimination Lawsuit to Stop Redfin’s Real Estate Redlining


October 29, 2020 

Contact:Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org 

NFHA Files Federal Discrimination Lawsuit to Stop Redfin’s Real Estate Redlining

Nation’s Leading Fair Housing Organization Challenges Redfin’s Service Policies by Alleging Race and National Origin Discrimination 

Washington, D.C. — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and other fair housing organizations filed a federal lawsuit against Redfin, a national real estate firm based in Seattle, Washington. After a two-year investigation, NFHA determined that Redfin’s minimum home price policy discriminates against sellers and buyers of homes in communities of color in many metropolitan areas. 

“Redlining, and the residential segregation it causes, represents America’s oldest racist and discriminatory real estate policy. The fact that these actions are still occurring, let alone by a major corporation, demonstrates why we need strong civil rights protections now more than ever,” said Lisa Rice, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). “Redfin’s policies redline communities of color and will further exacerbate the racial wealth and homeownership gaps. We must ensure that all neighborhoods are treated fairly and have access to the full range of services provided by real estate companies. We must also ensure that companies do not use their technologies, including digitally-based platforms, to deny people the housing opportunities and services they deserve.” 

Redfin’s minimum home price policy has restricted access to services and financial incentives for sellers and buyers of homes in predominantly non-White areas. NFHA’s investigation determined that Redfin offers no services in non-White zip codes at a disproportionately higher rate than in White zip codes in the following areas: Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Kansas City, MO/KS; Long Island, NY; Louisville KY; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee, WI; Newark, NJ; and Philadelphia, PA.  

On behalf of the National Fair Housing Alliance and nine of its organizational members, listed below, the lawsuit was filed by the New York-based law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel, LLP and Seattle-based firm MacDonald Hoague & Bayless in the federal district court in Seattle, Washington.  

  • South Suburban Housing Center 
  • Open Communities 
  • HOPE Fair Housing Center 
  • Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit 
  • Fair Housing Justice Center, Inc  
  • Long Island Housing Services, Inc 
  • Lexington Fair Housing Council 
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council    
  • Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania 

Among other things, the plaintiffs seek a court order ending Redfin’s minimum housing price policy and other practices that violate the Fair Housing Act. “We cannot allow these blatant civil rights violations to continue. NFHA will do everything in our power to fight back,” stated Lisa Rice. 

This investigation was made possible in part through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

A copy of the complaint can be found here.


About the National Fair Housing Alliance 

Founded in 1988, NFHA is a consortium of more than 200 private, nonprofit fair housing organizations and state and local civil rights agencies from throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education, outreach, consulting, membership services, public policy initiatives, community development, advocacy, and enforcement.