Fair Housing, It's Your Right!
It is illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits this discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. A variety of other federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibit discrimination in housing and community development programs and activities, particularly those that are assisted with HUD funding. These civil rights laws include obligations such as taking reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities.
Who Is Protected?
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:
- National Origin
- Familial Status
In the Sale and Rental of Housing:
It is illegal discrimination to take any of the following actions because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin:
- Refuse to rent or sell housing.
- Refuse to negotiate for housing.
- Otherwise make housing unavailable
- Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling.
- Provide a person different housing services or facilities
- Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental
- Make, print or publish any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination.
- Impose different sales prices or rental charges for the sale or rental of a dwelling.
- Use different qualification criteria or applications, or sale or rental standards or procedures, such as income standards, application requirements, application fees, credit analyses, sale or rental approval procedures or other requirements.
- Evict a tenant or a tenant's guest.
- Harass a person.
- Fail or delay performance of maintenance or repairs.
- Limit privileges, services or facilities of a dwelling
- Discourage the purchase or rental of a dwelling.
- Assign a person to a particular building or neighborhood or section of a building or neighborhood.
- For profit, persuade, or try to persuade, homeowners to sell their homes by suggesting that people of a particular protected characteristic are about to move into the neighborhood (blockbusting)
- Refuse to provide or discriminate in the terms or conditions of homeowner's insurance because of the race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin of the owner and/or occupants of a dwelling.
- Deny access to or membership in any multiple listing service or real estate brokers' organization.
In Mortgage Lending:
It is illegal discrimination to take any of the following actions based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin:
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan or provide other financial assistance for a dwelling
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
- Discriminate in appraising a dwelling
- Condition the availability of a loan on a person's response to harassment
- Refuse to purchase a loan
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to harass persons because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. Among other things, this forbids sexual harassment.
In addition, it is illegal discrimination to:
- Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise the right
- Retaliate against a person who has filed a fair housing complaint or assisted in a fair housing investigation
For more information about Fair Housing please review the following resources: