Fair Housing: Washington

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.

Washington Protected Classes

(Revised Code of The State of Washington § 49.60.222§59.18.255)

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Creed
  • Citizenship/Immigration Status
  • Military/ Honorably Discharged Veteran Status
  • Use of a Service Animal
  • Source of Income1

1Source of Income includes benefits or subsidy programs including housing assistance, public assistance, emergency rental assistance, veterans’ benefits, social security, supplemental security income or other retirement programs, and other programs administered by any federal, state, local, or nonprofit entity. "Source of income" does not include income derived in an illegal manner.

Seattle Metro Area

(King County Code §§ 12.20.030 – 12.20.060)​

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

  • Alternative Source of Income2
  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Gender Expression
  • Gender Identity
  • Participation in Section 8 Program3

City of Seattle Protected Classes

(City of Seattle Municipal Code §§ 14.08.02014.08.04014.09.025 and 26)​

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

  • Criminal History/Arrest or Conviction Record
  • Political Ideology
  • Preferred Employer4
  • Prior Eviction due to COVID-19

2Alternative Source of Income in Kings county means lawful, verifiable income derived from sources other than wages, salaries, or other compensation for employment.  It includes but is not limited to moneys derived from Social Security benefits, other retirement programs, supplemental security income, unemployment benefits, child support, the state Aged, Blind or Disabled Cash Assistance Program, state Refugee Cash Assistance and any other federal, state, local government, private or nonprofit-administered cash benefit program.

3Defined in 12.20.020(K) as participating in a federal, state or local government program in which a tenant's rent is paid partially by the government, through a direct contract between the government program and the owner or lessor of the real property, and partially by the tenant" in Ordinance 19026 without displaying the changes as required in K.C.C. 1.24.075.

4Any policy or practice in which a person provides different terms and conditions, including but not limited to discounts or waiver of fees or deposits, in connection with renting, leasing, or subleasing real property to a prospective occupant because the prospective occupant is employed by a specific employer.

(Pierce County Code § 8.68.040)​

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

  • Age
  • Arbitrary Status4
  • Ancestry4
  • Ethnicity4

City of Tacoma Protected Classes

(City of Tacoma Municipal Code Title 1 §§ 1.29.100)​

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

  • Ancestry
  • Gender Identity

4Class listed in local fair housing source, but not codified.

(Snohomish County Code § 2.460.130)​

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

  • Ancestry
  • Gender Expression
  • Gender Identity

Spokane Metro Area

This jurisdiction emphasizes enforcement of federal and state protected classes.

City of Spokane Protected Classes

(City of Spokane Municipal Code § 18.01.030[D] and § 18.03.010)​

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

  • Source of Income6
  • Age
  • Victim of Domestic Violence
  • Refugee Status

6Income in Spokane means lawful, verifiable income derived from all sources, including without limitation wages, salaries or other compensation for employment; Social Security benefits; supplemental security income; unemployment benefits; retirement programs; child support; payments from the Aged, Blind or Disabled Cash Assistance Program; Refugee Cash Assistance; any federal, state, local government, private, or nonprofit-administered benefit program, including without limitation payments from any housing choice or other subsidy program as defined in this chapter; financial aid for college students; and per capita payments or distributions received from a federally-recognized tribe. Housing choice or other subsidy program or alternative source of income in Spokane means, without limitation: (i) any short or long term federal, state or local government, private nonprofit, or other assistance program in which a tenant's rent is paid either partially by the program (through a direct arrangement between the program and the owner or lessor of the real property), and partially by the tenant or completely by the program; or (ii) HUD-Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) funds, and short-term rental assistance provided by Rapid Rehousing subsidies.