Fair Housing refers to a set of federal, state, and local laws that protect people from illegal housing discrimination. These laws prohibit housing discrimination based on a person's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, familial status (children in the household under age 18, anticipated presence of children through adoption, pregnancy etc.), marital status, or physical or mental disability. People protected by Fair Housing laws against discrimination are said to belong to a "protected class."
Violations of Fair Housing laws may include:
- Refusing to rent housing to a member of a protected class
- Refusing to sell a home to a member of a protected class
- Providing false information to a member of a protected class
- Evicting a member of a protected class
- Refusing to make a loan, or charging a higher interest rate, to a member of a protected class
- Refusing to allow persons with disabilities to make their housing physically accessible
- Refusing to adjust rules that inhibit the ability of people with disabilities to successfully use their housing
- Having policies that make families with children unwelcome
- Harassment, e.g., asking a tenant for sexual favors, or proselytizing the tenant, or calling members of protected classes insulting names
- Building new housing that is not accessible to persons with disabilities.