Enforcement & Education

The Division of Human and Civil Rights (DHCR) is the state agency responsible for enforcement of Federal and State Fair Housing and Federal and State Equal Accommodations laws. DHCR acts as the administrative arm of the Delaware Human and Civil Rights Commission. The Commission also participates in mediation of hate crimes, police conflict, school related issues, and state employment.

What you should know about equal accommodations and fair housing.

Equal Accommodations

Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in businesses and locations that are considered places of “public accommodation.”

Delaware’s Equal Accommodations law prevents discrimination against people because of their race, age, marital status, creed, religion, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Places of “public accommodation” can include state agencies, local government agencies, and state-funded agencies performing public functions, and can include government buildings, courthouses and jails, transportation systems like busses and trains, or recreational areas like libraries, beaches and parks.

Places of “public accommodation” can include privately owned or operated businesses and buildings that offer goods and services to the public, like stores and shops, restaurants, hospitals, gas stations, hotels, motels, or sports and entertainment venues.

Fair Housing

Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing and any aspect of a credit application. The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family homes sold or rented without the use of a real estate broker, and housing that is operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

Delaware’s Fair Housing laws prevent discrimination against people because of their:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women; and people securing custody of a child under 18)
  • Creed
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Source of income (except Section 8 program vouchers)

What you should know about Education:

Education is critical to ending discrimination and creating fair and inclusive communities for every Delaware resident. Enforcing the law is just one part of the the Division of Human and Civil Rights’ commitment to Delawareans. We also provide education and training to communities, organizations, housing providers, businesses and agencies statewide. Learn more about our educational workshops on our Training Page.