When immigrants or families with kids or disabled people are refused housing in the US, the Fair Housing Act comes to their rescue. It is important that all of us are aware of our rights as a citizen so that we can prevent such unfair housing discrimination.
One of the commendable initiatives by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the US is the formulation and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act and several other laws for avoiding intimidation of residents in their homes. This act is applicable to private houses, apartment building systems, condos and almost the entire gamut of housing transactions. It also covers the tenancy and sale of homes in the various states. We must know the basic provisions in this Act to avoid any discrimination meted out to us.
The foundation of this Act
The foundation of this Act is based upon the idea that there should be equal housing opportunities for all regardless of religion, race, color, sex, familial conditions, nationality, disability and so on. Those landlords who do not sell homes to certain class of people due to any of the above reason are punished by law. This is to make sure that everybody looking for a home to live must get it.
The Fair Housing Act mentions that no land owner or estate agent can refuse to rent out or sell a house or avoid negotiations with prospective buyers on the basis of the person’s race, color, disability/handicap or family status. The main aim of this act is to allow people from all walks of life to gain access to housing facilities, multiple listings services and acquire a dwelling for their family.
The interesting part about this Act is that it is unlawful to threaten, force or interfere with anyone who is implementing a fair housing right or helping out others in exercising this right. Home owners cannot advertise their homes for a certain class of people only. They have to be open in selling or renting their home to anybody irrespective of his color, nationality, religion or handicap.
This Act pays special attention to the needs of disabled people. It mentions that the landlord must allow handicapped people to make certain changes in the house or common use areas for their convenience, if the disabled person promises to get it restored when he moves out. Overall, this Act is very helpful for those who have been refused housing due to their color, race or nationality.