Chattanooga city officials are stepping up their efforts to combat discrimination in the housing market.

Over the years, city leaders have been trying to find ways to battle the need for housing in Chattanooga. But, providing more affordable housing has been an uphill battle.

Now, officials like Donna Williams, want to make sure those who meet housing qualifications aren't being turned away based on the color of their skin, age or gender.

“My guess would be it happens quite a lot,” said Williams. “We need to go through this process to quantify it.”

Williams shared a story about one of her coworkers and his wife on the search for a place to live.

The bi-racial couple called around and set up some walk-throughs for available apartments.

“Between the time that you hung up the phone and drove to see the property,” said Williams “When the people saw them, they had no property left.”

In cases like these, you can call the city to report discrimination. From there, the statement will be sent for the state to investigate the allegations.

Williams says they are increasing awareness to make sure everyone has a fair chance of getting one of the most basic living needs, housing.

“It happened is people think they are being discriminated against, but they are not,” said Williams. “They just don't meet the guidelines for a particular application.”

Williams says it's important for everyone to know how to accurately identify discrimination because it's not just illegal in the fair housing act, it's unethical.

To report discrimination, call Regina Partap at 423-643-7335.

Other meetings can be found on the flyer below.