Fair Housing Act is a federal law that ensures equal opportunity in home ownership. The title of the law pretty much explains its contents. This law outlines prohibited practices in sale or rental of properties. However, it is centered on the prohibition of all forms of discrimination in the said transaction.
Importance of Fair Housing Act
Discrimination still exists in the world. Such act may be influenced by their culture or perhaps by their history. Some people may have not gotten over the wars of the past. While others have developed pure disliking to a particular race that it progressed to racism. These things may not be that visible. However, there will still be accounts of it somewhere, especially in real estate.
With the existence of Fair Housing Act, people will have equal opportunities in purchasing or renting homes. If in case discriminatory acts were present at the time of dealing, the aggrieved parties can file a complaint. The alleged discriminating owner will have to undergo due process (or court hearing) before penalties or other legal actions will be imposed.
Brief History of the Act
Racial and governmental discrimination was very evident in the 60s. Because of this, several incidences of riots and violence were triggered. As the situation worsened in 1968, President Johnson ordered the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to figure out the root cause of such discrimination. According to the report, the cause was rage and ghettoization.
As a remedy to the problem, it was recommended to eliminate racial separation in housing. In March 11, 1968, the congress responded by making the act with amendments. However, the enactment of such law was not until after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. At this time, the country was shaken by another riot. As a result, President Johnson signed the act and it became the policy to promote fair housing in United States. In 1974, additional prohibitions were made as to discrimination to sex, disability and familial status.
A Detailed Preview of the Act
The act contains sections that define several forms of discrimination. For your guidance, here are some of actions prohibited by the law:
1. Refusal to sell or rent-out the property, as well as in negotiating, because of sex, religion, race, color, religion, disability or even family status.
2. Refusal to allow constructional modifications that could assist the handicapped in the easement of his activities during his stay within the premises.
3. Discrimination in real estate related transaction like loan applications, construction and renovation of the property, selling and appraising of the property.
4. Refusal to give access to participate in multiple-listing service because sex, religion, race, color, religion, disability or even family status.
5. Limitation of the sale or rental of properties by religious or non-religious groups on account of sex, religion, race, color, religion, disability or even family status.
6. Failure to meet the housing standards or requirements intended for older persons.
7. Passing of laws pertaining to housing, which result to discrimination of the minorities.
8. Interference, coercion or intimidation of the people who rightfully exercised protection of themselves from the said forms of discrimination.