Since its founding, the Center has operated as one of the most progressive and effective proponents of fair housing, leading national efforts and setting precedents that have markedly improved the quality of life for millions of Americans.

Founded on the principles of community, tolerance, and justice, The Fair Housing Center was established in 1975 to assist victims of housing discrimination. The Women of the Old West End, The League of Women Voters, and several other concerned citizens and community groups organized to fight blockbusting and other discriminatory practices that were destroying Toledo’s neighborhoods.

Throughout its history, the Center has been a leader in fair housing enforcement. In addition, its staff has conducted workshops for fair housing organizations, government agencies, and housing industry professionals. In addition, the Center’s staff is regularly called upon by the US Congress to submit testimony regarding discriminatory housing practices.

I honestly did not know that in the fair housing world, The Fair Housing Center is the center of the universe.

Diana Patton

Social Justice and Integrative Health Advocacy Coach

A Place To Call Home



The Fair Housing Center has investigated more than 13,500 complaints of discrimination and recovered in excess of $34.5 million in damages for victim compensation and neighborhood reinvestment.

2022 Fannie Mae

The Fair Housing Center, along with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 19 other local fair housing organizations throughout the country, reached a landmark $53 million agreement with Fannie Mae (formally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association) to resolve a case arising from allegations that Fannie Mae treated foreclosed homes in communities of color unfavorably. The settlement will help rebuild and strengthen communities of color in 39 metropolitan areas including Toledo.

2021 Brooklynn Park

A settlement reached in a lawsuit filed by The Fair Housing Center, The Ability Center, and Brooklynn Park resident Jenny Tillman required defendants to complete extensive accessibility modifications for Brooklynn Park and pay $400,000 in damages to cover fees, litigation costs, and compensation for the nonprofit organizations’ diversion of resources and frustration of mission. Remediation for the 55+ housing community, conducted at the defendants’ expense, will help bring properties into compliance with design and construction requirements and ensure residents of the senior housing development can benefit from full use and enjoyment of their owner-occupied villas while they continue to age in place.

2016 KeyBank

TFHC uncovered inequities in KeyBank’s lending patterns, resulting in an agreement to expand access to homeownership and banking services in Toledo’s traditionally underserved communities. This long-term effort will help ensure that low-to-moderate income neighborhoods and communities of color have the chance to pursue the American Dream. The plan addresses our community’s needs though a multifaceted approach that includes $3 million in funding to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

2013 Wells Fargo

TFHC joined the National Fair Housing Alliance and twelve additional fair housing organizations to enter into the first-ever agreement regarding the equal maintenance and marketing of Real Estate Owned (REO) homes. The complaint alleged that Wells Fargo’s properties in white neighborhoods were better maintained and marketed than properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. Toledo received $1.4 million in community relief funds, which TFHC used to establish the MLK Inclusive Communities Program. In an effort to preserve homeownership, the program included financial assistance for foreclosure prevention, a partnership with the LandBank for roof replacements, and a partnership with the Ability Center for home accessibility modifications.

2009 Local Suburban Municipality

TFHC entered into an agreement with a local suburban municipality regarding a reasonable accommodation request in zoning. Along with monetary relief totaling over $100,000 for the named complainants in the case, the agreement also stipulates that all licensed group homes moving into the township within the next 99 years will receive a 10-year property tax abatement.

Late 1990s and early 2000s Partnerships with Major Insurance Companies

TFHC entered into partnerships with companies including State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers Insurance. Through these agreements, insurers altered their underwriting guidelines, which had a disparate impact on African American and Latino neighborhoods. The partnerships have resulted in over $10 million in investments in Toledo’s urban communities.

1999 Preferred Properties, Inc. v. Indian River Estates and Duane J. Tillimon

TFHC assisted Preferred Properties, Inc., a nonprofit that develops and manages rental housing for persons with disabilities, in filing this case. In March 2000, a federal jury awarded Preferred Properties a total of $156,000 and found that a local developer should have sold land to Preferred Properties to be developed as housing for persons with disabilities. This was the largest jury award of punitive damages in a fair housing case in Northwest Ohio.

1996 State Farm

TFHC joined the National Fair Housing Alliance to settle systemic complaints filed with HUD against the nation’s largest homeowners insurance agency. This precedent-setting agreement has changed the way homeowners insurance is written throughout the country.

1993 Fair Housing Center, et al. v. Nationwide Insurance Companies

The first complaint filed against an insurance company based on testing evidence. The complaint was settled in 1998.

1990 Grey, Wainer, and the Fair Housing Center v. P.K. Mobile Home Park

The federal court set the precedent for acceptable and unacceptable standards for “significant services and facilities” for senior citizen housing complexes.

1988 Fair Housing Center v. Lexington Apartments

This case set a national precedent by providing free rental units for the homeless.

1987 Old West End Association v. Buckeye Federal Savings & Loan

The standards for establishing a prima facie neighborhood redlining complaint were decided in this case, which was successfully litigated by Steve Dane.

1987 Rudolph, et al., v. Taberner, et al.

The highest award ever granted in a racial harassment case was ordered by then Magistrate Carr. This complaint, litigated by C. Thomas McCarter, resulted in a $625,000 award and a prison sentence for Mr. Taberner.

1983 Shellhammer v. Lewallen

TFHC investigated and litigated the nation’s first sexual harassment housing complaint. The complaint, successfully litigated by C. Thomas McCarter, clearly established sexual harassment as a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

1978 First Federal Savings and Loan

TFHC and the Greater Toledo Housing Coalition filed the country’s first challenge under the Community Reinvestment Act with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. The protest filed against First Federal Savings and Loan prompted fair lending awareness among the banking community and resulted in a conditioned approval of the lender’s application.

1977 Harrison v. Heinzroth

The first lending redlining lawsuit is successfully litigated in Toledo by Joe Tafelski.