Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fair Housing Month: Why Not Everyone Is Celebrating

It's Fair Housing Month, but not everyone is celebrating. There's no question that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) has proven itself over the past 42 years as a landmark piece of legislation that has helped thousands of victims of illegal housing discrimination across the United States. But, even after two significant amendments, the FHA protects people based on only seven protected classes — race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

If you think that covers a lot of situations, you're right. But many individuals, advocacy groups, and politicians argue that the law doesn't go far enough. Several states, cities, and towns have succeeded in extending fair housing protection by including additional protected classes in their own anti-discrimination laws, such as:
  • sexual orientation;
  • age;
  • marital status;
  • source of income;
  • military status;
  • personal appearance; and
  • political affiliation.
(For a scrollable list of additional protected classes in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, check out the "Protected Classes Tool" at fairhousingresources.com.)

Do you believe the FHA should be amended to include additional protected classes? If so, which protected classes would you like to see added? How fair is fair housing if many types of housing discrimination are still legal under federal law?

What do you think?

Return tomorrow for the thirtieth and final part of this special "Fair Housing Month" feature at Fairhousingblog.com.

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