The Fair Housing Act in United States was passed by the House in 1968. The sole purpose of this act is to protect the home buyer’s and the renter’s rights from any discrimination by the seller or landlord. It also prohibits discrimination from the municipalities, mortgage lenders, banks or insurance companies whose discriminatory practices inhibits a person’s right to housing facilities.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race or color, religion, sex, national origin, family status and disability. Any time an individual can protect himself under this Act if he is denied the right to purchase or lease out property based on these factors. Also advertising of any kind that promotes preference of any kind based on any of these factors can also be prosecuted under The Fair Housing Act.
Discrimination based on race and color
Most of the cases the buyers or the renters are denied the right to housing due to false statement of unavailability and they are directed towards other areas based on race or color. Even though the law was passed in 1968 still this has always been a major issue. In many cases it turns out that the victim is unaware of it.
Discrimination based religion
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against members practicing a particular religion in a housing zone. Though the number of cases registered under this is fairly low as compared to cases registered under race or color and national origin. However this law does not restrict the use of non-commercial housing which is operated by a particular religious community for reserving housing for a member of that religion.
Discrimination based national origin
Any denial or favoritism for housing right based on the national origin of a person has been covered under the Fair Housing Act. The number of immigrants from all over the world is increasing every year. Discrimination of individuals based on his national origin by the seller,
landlord or mortgage lender can be prosecuted under this Act.
Discrimination based on sex
Women, mostly poor, with limited housing options are many times subjected to sexual harassment by the landlords wherein either they have to submit to the sexual favors of their landlords or vacate the house. Such cases are also prosecuted under this Act which prohibits any discrimination based on sex of an individual.
Discrimination based on status of family
Many a time families having children below 18 are denied any housing rights by the seller or the landlord on the basis of number of members in the family. Such discrimination is also prohibited under The Fair Housing Act. However, housing that is designated to the elderly or the seniors are excluded from this act.
Discrimination based on disability
The Fair Housing Act protects the right to housing for all types of disability wherein the individual can be disabled due to blindness, hearing impairment, mobility impairment, HIV infected, drug addict, alcoholism, mentally retarded, head injury, mental illness. Any discrimination based on these factors can be subject to prosecution under this Act.