Steering is an attempt by owners/managers to control where someone lives because of their protected class, regardless of how well intended. Perceived “steering” can result in a fair housing complaint. Common targets are:
- Families with children. Steering can include directing applicants to downstairs or end units or “family” buildings, or units near a/the playground.
- Elderly or Disabled persons, steering can include directing applicants to more accessible units, first or ground floor units. Also buildings or sections of buildings designated for seniors.
- Race/Color/Nationality: steering can include directing applicants to not as desirable units or a totally different property.
If a unit that meets applicant’s needs is not available, it is better to refer him/her to another property in the portfolio to reduce chance applicant will feel they are being discriminated against.