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5 Bits of Information All About the Fair Housing Act

Fair Housing Act

Enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Fair Housing Act is intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1968, Congress passed the act to hopefully impose a far-reaching solution to the national problem of unlawful discrimination in housing.
Simply put, the Fair Housing Act exists so that everyone who applies for housing has the right to be treated fairly and the same. Before you think about renting or purchasing a home, you should know about the Fair Housing Act. Here’s all the important information simply explained so that everything is easy to remember.

What to Know About the Fair Housing Act
  1. Creation
The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s is when people made the most progress with fair housing. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a massive leap forward for eliminating discrimination - it ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination. However, the real groundbreaker for fair housing was the Fair Housing Act of 1968. It was established one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
  1. Classes Protected
The Fair Housing Act protects seven groups of people, which they refer to as classes.
  • Color
  • Disability (was not added until 1988 and ranges from mobility, visual, hearing, and cognitive disabilities)
  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Religion
  1. Three-Part Goal
The Fair Housing Act strives to accomplish a three-part goal - Home Renting and Selling, Mortgage Lending, and Other Illegal Activities. The three goals strived to end discrimination against the seven protected classes. This focus aims to end discrimination against the protected classes in any of the following ways:
  • Refusing to rent, sell, or negotiate housing
  • Making housing unavailable or lying about the availability of housing
  • Denying housing
  • Refusing to make or purchase a mortgage loan
  • Setting different requirements for purchasing a loan
  • Refusing to make information about the loan available
  • Make discriminatory statements
  • Threaten or interfere with anyone’s fair housing rights
  1. HUD Enforcement
HUD is in charge of enforcing the Fair Housing Act. They do this by monitoring the complaint system within the HUD Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Program. If you think that you have experienced or are experiencing housing discrimination, you can file a complaint. They also have people who pose as renters or home buyers to see if landlords and sellers use discriminatory practices.
  1. Examples of Discrimination
There are a lot of different ways that housing discrimination takes place. We list a few below. For a more in-depth look at everything and to see more examples, turn to HUD’s page on examples of housing discrimination.
  • Harassment
  • Steering
  • Subtle Discrimination
  • Ignored Accessibility Requirements
  • Rules Against Children

Funding and Grants For Women and Families: