Enforcement

ARM Program Fair Housing Code Complaint Filing

Alternative Residential Mediation (ARM)

The city’s Alternative Residential Mediation program offers tenants and landlords an alternative, as sanctioned by Forsyth County District Court, for settling disputes before they go to court.

The mediation program provides a simple mechanism to settle disputes that arise under the North Carolina Residential Agreement Act. Under an agreement with Chief Judge William Reingold of Forsyth County District Court, the court will refer landlord/tenant cases to Human Relations that it believes are ripe for mediation. Participation is voluntary, and the parties in the case retain the ability to go to court if mediation does not resolve the dispute. There is no cost.

The mediation program is loosely modeled after a similar program developed in Charlotte; however, in North Carolina, this is the first formal partnership between a city government and the district court for a landlord/tenant residential mediation program. The program was two and a half years in the making and is the result of a collaboration between Human Relations, Forsyth County District Court, the Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina and the City Attorney.

For more information about the Alternative Residential Mediation program, call the Human Relations Department at 734-1227.

Fair Housing Code

The Winston-Salem municipal code lists city codes and ordinances. This link will open in a new window. Search to find information related to the local fair housing act and the Human Relations Commission and Department.

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  • fair housing
  • human relations


Basis of Complaints:

The Human Relations Department investigates housing discrimination, landlord/tenant, and LEP complaints. Human Relations also refers police complaints from citizens. In order to initiate complaints, guidelines are described below.

How to File Housing Discrimination Complaints:

To file a housing discrimination complaint, a HUD Form 903 must be completed. You may file a complaint with us by either:

1. Contacting the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department at (336) 734-1227 to request this form; or

2. Visiting our office in person to request a form and to receive assistance in completing it. We are located in City Hall at 101 North Main Street in Suite 109; or

3. Mailing a complaint form to us at our mailing address: Winston-Salem Human Relations Department, P.O. Box 2511, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Generally, complaints concerning housing discrimination allegations must be based on discrimination due to race, color, national origin, disability, religion, gender, or disability involving the transacting of real estate (i.e., buying or renting or attempting to buy or rent property). The Department and Commission accept complaints from residents of the City of Winston-Salem who reside in both subsidized and non-federally subsidized housing.

Upon the completion of the investigations, a final determination is made by the Director to decide if there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has taken place. If reasonable cause is determined, the parties are advised that they may choose resolution before either the superior court or an administrative hearing with the Human Relations Commission. If reasonable cause is not determined, the parties are advised that there is insufficient evidence of discrimination. Despite the determination, the parties always have the right to pursue the matter with their own personal attorneys through a court of law.

How to File Landlord/Tenant Complaints:

The Department accepts complaints from either landlords or tenants. To file a landlord/tenant complaint, a written complaint should be filed with our Department. If the initial complaint is brought to our attention through a letter or telephone call, investigators will request that you complete the Department's Landlord/Tenant Complaint Form and Waiver Form. You may file a complaint with us by either:

1. Contacting the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department at (336) 734-1227 to request this form; or

2. Visiting our office in person to request a form and to receive assistance in completing it. We are located in City Hall at 101 North Main Street in Suite 109; or

3. Mailing a complaint form to us at our mailing address: Winston-Salem Human Relations Department, P.O. Box 2511, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Complaints concerning landlord/tenant issues such as landlord/tenant disputes, security deposits, pet deposits, lease violations, and general rights must be filed with the Department or Commission in writing. The Department and Commission accepts complaints from residents of the City of Winston-Salem who reside in both subsidized and non-federally subsidized housing. While the Department staff is authorized by ordinance to investigate and mediate landlord/tenant complaints, the staff relies on the parties involved to enforce their landlord/tenant mediation agreements voluntarily or, if necessary, in court.

How to File LEP Complaints:

The Department accepts complaints from residents of the City of Winston-Salem who believe they have been unable to access city services or programs due to limited English proficiency. To file an LEP complaint, you may file by either:

1. Contacting the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department at (336) 734-1227; or

2. Visiting our office in person to request a form and to receive assistance in completing it. We are located in City Hall at 101 North Main Street in Suite 109; or

3. Mailing a complaint to us at our mailing address: Winston-Salem Human Relations Department, P.O. Box 2511, Winston-Salem, NC 27102.

How to File Police Complaints with the Citizen Police Review Board:

The primary purpose of the Citizen Police Review Board is to act as a fact finding body in cases involving unresolved citizen complaints against employees of the Police Department. If you find that you need to bring a complaint against a Police Department employee, be sure to note the date and time of day of the incident and try to get as much specific information as possible about the incident. As examples, try to get the name of the employee and names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident.

A general description of the complaint process is, as follows:

1. You may file a police complaint with the police officer's supervisor or by filing with Human Relations, the City Secretary's Office, or the Police Department's Internal Affairs Section for the Police Chief's review and decision.

2. If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Police Chief, you may appeal his/her decision to the Citizen Police Review Board by filing a notice with the City Secretary's Office.

3. If the Citizen Police Review Board decides to hold a hearing, you will be notified of this decision in writing stating the time, date, and place of the hearing.

4. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Citizen Police Review Board will consider all of the information received and prepare a report on its findings. This report will be presented to the City Manager for his actions. The City Manager will advise you in writing of his resolution of your complaint. This is the final step in the administrative process to resolve a citizen complaint.


 

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