Fair Housing is Your Right!
Housing discrimination strikes at the heart of the American dream that everyone can freely choose a place to live without regard to your race, color, age, handicap, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, national origin or sex.
In our society housing is connected to many critical aspects of our lives. It contributes to our feeling of success or failure. Where we live may also determine what kind of education our children will have; what kinds of professional and social associations we will have in our community; what kinds of physical danger we will be exposed to; and what kinds of job opportunities will be nearby.
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on:
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation
- Source of Income
- Familial Status
- Marital Status
- Perceived Physical or Mental Impairment
- Other Arbitrary Basis
Specifically, the Fair Housing Act provides protection against the following discriminatory housing practices if they are based on race, sex, religion, color, handicap, familial status or national origin:
- Denying or refusing to rent housing
- Denying or refusing to sell housing
- Treating differently applicants for housing
- Treating residents differently in connection with terms and conditions
- Advertising a discriminatory housing preference or limitation
- Providing false information about the availability of housing
- Harassing, coercing or intimidating people from enjoying or exercising their rights under the Act.
- Blockbusting for profit, persuading owners to sell or rent housing by telling them that people of a particular race, religion, etc. are moving into the neighborhood.
- Imposing different terms for loans for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a home, or loans secured by housing.
- Denying use of or participating in real estate services, e.g., brokers’ organizations, multiple listing services, etc.
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
your landlord may not:
- Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore the property to its original condition when you move.)
- Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.
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 ample, 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.
If you believe you have been the victim of housing discrimination please contact San Joaquin Fair Housing. We are here to help.
Helpful links to Fair Housing information: