Federal Housing Rights
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing in the United States because of:
What Type of Housing Is Covered?
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
What Is Prohibited?
In the Sale and Rental of Housing: It is illegal to take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability:
In Mortgage Lending: It is illegal to take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability:
In addition, it is illegal for anyone to:
Federal Housing Protections for People with Disabilities
If you or someone in your family:
Your housing provider may not:
Example: A building with a "no pets" policy must allow a visually impaired tenant to keep a guide dog.
Example: An apartment complex that offers tenants unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near her apartment if necessary to assure that she can have access to her apartment.
However, housing need not be made available to a person who is a direct threat to the health or safety of others or who currently uses illegal drugs.
Requirements for New Buildings
In buildings that are ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, and have an elevator and four or more units:
All units must have:
If a building with four or more units has no elevator and will be ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, these standards apply to ground floor units.
These requirements for new buildings do not replace any more stringent standards in State or local law.
More Information about Federal Fair Housing
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal fair housing laws. The primary federal fair housing law is the Fair Housing Act. For more information about federal fair housing visit our Resources page.