April is Fair Housing Month!
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What is Fair Housing?
All persons are entitled equal access to housing. Fair housing laws were enacted to provide equal housing opportunities. It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person's protected class in the sale, rental or financing of housing. Protected classes include: Sex; National Origin; Familial Status (including children under 18); Race; Ancestry; Disability; Sexual Orientation; Color; Creed; Marital Status; or retaliation for opposing a discriminatory practice.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: National Fair Housing Act. (1968, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, and 1988 Amendments)
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: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap:
- Refuse to rent or sell housing
- Refuse to negotiate for housing
- Make housing unavailable
- Deny a dwelling
- Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
- Provide different housing services of facilities
- Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
- For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
- Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.
In addition: It is illegal for anyone to:
- Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
- Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preferences based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
Additional Protection If You Have A Disability
If you or someone associated with you:
- Have a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex and mental retardation) that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- Have a record of such a disability or
- Are regarded as having such a disability
State fair housing law. The State of Colorado has a state law that prohibits housing discrimination (Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 24, Article 24, Part 5 -- Housing Practices). The state law offers the same protections as the Fair Housing Act, in addition to providing protections based on marital status, creed, ancestry and sexual orientation.
City ordinance. Section 13-18 of the City’s municipal code prohibits discriminatory housing practices in the City of Fort Collins. Protected classes under the city ordinance include: race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status or because of the race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status of the other person’s friends or associates.
In Mortgage Lending: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, familial status or handicap (disability):
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
- Discriminate in appraising property
- Reuse to purchase a loan or
- Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan
Other Housing Resources
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Colorado Civil Rights Division
- Colorado Division of Housing searchable housing database
Do you have a complaint?
Dan Weinheimer, Policy and Project Manager