Fair Housing is the right for anyone to buy or rent a place to live regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability.
In anti-discrimination laws, a “protected class” is a characteristic of a person which cannot be targeted for discrimination. The federal Fair Housing Act has the following protected classes:
- National Origin
- Familial Status
State and local laws may include additional protected classes, such as:
- LGBT status
- Veteran / military status
- Marital status
- Source of income
- Section 8 status
- Genetic information
- You may file a complaint directly with HUD:
- Get the Housing Discrimination Complaint App (iOS):
- Get the Housing Discrimination Complaint App (Android):
FHAP / FHIP Program Agency List:/resources/agencies
FHAP / FHIP Program Agency Map:/agency-map
The Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) is a federal program that is administered by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The FHAP program provides funding annually on a noncompetitive basis to state and local agencies that enforce fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act. FHAP agencies accept, investigate and resolve fair housing complaints, provide technical assistance about fair housing, and offer education and outreach.
More about Fair Housing Assistance Programs :
The Fair Housing Initiatives (FHIP) Program is managed by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHIP agencies partner with HUD to assist people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination. They also conduct preliminary investigation of claims, including sending "testers" to properties suspected of practicing housing discrimination. FHIP also has initiatives that promote fair housing laws and equal housing opportunity awareness.
More about Fair Housing Initiative Programs :
- Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
- Fair Housing Accessibility First
- LGBT Initiative
Fair Housing Timeline
1866Civil Rights Act
Granted full citizenship rights to all U.S.-born males, regardless of race, and guarantees all citizens the rights to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold or convey real property.
Prohibited discrimination in the sale, leasing, rental of properties/facilities owned/operated by the federal government or provided with federal funds.
July 1964Civil Rights Act, Title VI
Prohibited discrimination based on race, color or national origin in federally funded programs/activities, including housing.
Prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin in sale, rental, or financing of housing.
Required that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with certain federal funds must be accessible to and useable by handicapped people.
HUD’s implementing regulations prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal funding.
Prohibited discrimination based on disability in federally funded programs.
Prohibited discrimination by creditors based on sex or marital status. Later amended to include race, color, religion, national origin, age, source of income, or retaliation for exercising rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin or sex in programs receiving federal funding
Prohibited discrimination on the basis of age in programs/activities receiving federal funding.
Mandated that financial institutions providing federally related mortgage loans annually reveal, by census tracts or ZIP code, how much they loan to specific geographical areas.
Title VII of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977 encouraged lending institutions to meet borrower needs in the local communities in which they are charted including low-/moderate-income neighborhoods.
Sept. 1988Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988
Added handicap and familial status as protected classes under Title VIII.
Prohibited discrimination based on disability in programs/services/activities provided or made available by public entities. HUD enforces Title II when it relates to state/local public housing, housing assistance and housing referrals.
Jan. 1994Executive Order 12892
Required federal agencies to affirmatively further fair housing in their programs/activities, and provides that the HUD Secretary is responsible for coordinating the effort.
Feb. 1994Executive Order 12898
Required that each federal agency conduct its program/policies/activities that substantially affect human health or the environment so as not to exclude people based on race, color, or national origin.
Amended the Fair Housing Act, making it legal for housing intended for those 55 or older to prohibit families with children from moving in, but not to discriminate on the basis of other protected classes.
Aug. 2000Executive Order 13166
Required federal agencies and federally-assisted programs/activities to examine their services, identify limited English proficiency needs, and develop/implement a system to provide full and meaningful participate for LEP people.
June 2001Executive Order 13217
Required federal agencies to evaluate their policies and programs to determine if they can be revised or modified to improve the availability of community-based living for people with disabilities.
There’s so much rich history behind the Fair Housing Act —
the personal stories, the legal battles, the political campaigns that have led us to where we are today. This 5-session online seminar covers the key events and individuals in fair housing history.
For more information, see “Fair Housing: The Backstory”