Fair Housing: Pennsylvania

This page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This page is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.  

On these pages, you will find information about the protected classes in each state’s fair housing law as well as the cities and counties in the state’s three largest city or metropolitan areas that enforce additional fair housing protections. We highlight source of income protections, where applicable, that could substantially impact industry operations. Please see the footnotes. NAA also has resources on the federal fair housing protections that apply nationwide.

We are currently in the process of optimizing NAA’s Fair Housing Protected Class Resources. If you do not see a jurisdiction of interest, please reach out to the NAA Government Affairs Team at [email protected].

Information on this page is current as of March 2022.

Pennsylvania Protected Classes

(State of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 43 P.S. Labor § 955 [h])

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex1
  • Familial Status
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Use of a Support Animal

1Sex as defined by the PA Human Relations Commission may refer to sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender identity, gender transition, gender identity, and/or gender expression depending on the individual facts of the case.

2The PA State Supreme Court has found that local ordinances on Source of Income impose requirements and duties on businesses not allowed under PAs Home-Rule laws. This ruling preempts any local source of income protections.

Allentown Metro Area

In addition to enforcement of federal and state protected classes, this jurisdiction also includes the following protected classes:

  • Sexual Orientation3
  • Marital Status3

City of Allentown Protected Classes

(City of Allentown Municipal Code §27-4)​

In addition to enforcement of federal and state, and county protected classes, this jurisdiction also includes the following protected classes:

  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Source of Income4

 

3Class is listed in a local fair housing source, but not found in codified law.

4The PA State Supreme Court has found that local ordinances on Source of Income impose requirements and duties on businesses not allowed under PAs Home-Rule laws. This ruling preempts any local source of income protections.

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of Federal and State Protected Classes.

Philadelphia Metro Area

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of Federal and State Protected Classes.

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of Federal and State Protected Classes.

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of Federal and State Protected Classes.

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of Federal and State Protected Classes.

(City of Philadelphia Municipal Code §§ 9-1108 et seq.)​

Philadelphia is a consolidated City-County.

In addition to enforcement of federal and state, and county protected classes, this jurisdiction also includes the following protected classes:

  • Ethnicity
  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Marital Status
  • Source of Income3
  • Victim of Domestic or Sexual Violence

3Source of Income includes any lawful source of income, and shall include, but not be limited to, earned income, child support, alimony, insurance and pension proceeds; all forms of public assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; and housing assistance programs. HOWEVER, The PA State Supreme Court has found that local ordinances on Source of Income impose requirements and duties on businesses not allowed under PAs Home-Rule laws. This ruling preempts any local source of income protections.

Pittsburgh Metro Area

(Allegheny County Code § 215-33)

In addition to enforcement of federal and state protected classes, this jurisdiction also includes the following protected classes:

  • Gender Identity
  • Gender Expression
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Marital Status

City of Pittsburgh Protected Classes

(City of Pittsburgh Municipal Code § 659.03)​

In addition to enforcement of federal and state, and county protected classes, this jurisdiction also includes the following protected classes:

  • Victim of Domestic Violence
  • Immigration/Citizenship Status
  • Preferred Language
  • Source of Income4
  • Protective and Cultural hairstyles and textures5

4All lawful sources of income or rental assistance program, including, but not limited to, earned income, child support, alimony, insurance and pension proceeds, and all forms of public assistance including federal, state and local housing assistance programs. This includes the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. HOWEVER, The PA State Supreme Court has found that local ordinances on Source of Income impose requirements and duties on businesses not allowed under PAs Home-Rule laws.. This ruling preempts any local source of income protections.

5Hairstyles and hair textures most commonly associated with race including, but not limited to, braids, cornrows, locs, Bantu knots, afros, and twists, whether or not hair extensions or treatments are used to create or maintain any such style, and whether or not hair is adorned by hair ornaments, beads, or headwraps.

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of Federal and State Protected Classes.

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of Federal and State Protected Classes.