Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act provides protection to specific classes against discrimination done by providers of dwellings namely Landlords, Real Estate Agents, Developers, and Realtors. The act enacted in the year 1968 prohibits discrimination against an individual on the basis of race or color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and disability. The motto of the act is to stop any form of landlord discrimination and protect the interests of the persons seeking a house. The act was laid down by the U. S. department of Housing and Urban development or the HUD with an objective to provide a unitary housing market for each and every individual which is free from any kind of racial discrimination. The act aims to provide equal opportunity and access to fulfill one’s housing need. Open Housing is another name for Fair Housing symbolizing its unrestricted access and openness to each and every individual.

  •  Discrimination in Housing on the basis of Race or Color – The Act makes it unlawful to prohibit housing to an individual based on his race or color. This has over the years been the most common form of discrimination prevalent in the US housing sector.
  •  Discrimination in Housing based upon religion – The Fair Housing Act prohibits denying housing access to an individual based on his religion.
  •  Discrimination in Housing on the basis of Sex including Sexual Harassment – The HUD department takes action against any individual which restrict access to housing to an individual based on sex. The act also contains provisions to punish the guilty against instances of sexual harassment against women.
  •  Discrimination in Housing on the basis of National Origin – The Act makes it illegal to deny housing access to an individual based on the country of his birth or based on the place of origin of his ancestors.
  •  Discrimination in Housing Based on Familial Status – The act provides shield to all families which include children below the age of 18 when they seek a house.
  •  Discrimination in Housing based upon disability – The Fair Housing act covers both physical and metal impairment. The term physical and mental impairment include conditions related to blindness, hearing impairment, mobility impairment, HIV infection, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug addiction, chronic fatigue, learning disability, head injury, and mental illness. The act prohibits any form of discrimination against any individual found to be suffering from the above mentioned conditions.

The federal department entrusted with the responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Fair Housing Act is the HUD. All cases of violations to the provisions of the Fair Housing Act are lodged with to HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) and HUD’s Office of General Counsel. Individuals found guilty are subjected to criminal proceedings. The Fair Housing act is reviewed on a periodic basis to widen its scope and extend the provisions of the act to certain other classes which need protection.

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Source by Lokesh