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Why is the Fair Housing Act so Important

Why is the Fair Housing Act so Important?

The essence of the Fair Housing Act, a fallout of the Civil Liberties movement, is ensuring equal rights for every American aspiring to rent or own a house. It seeks to ensure that nobody is discriminated against in property transactions on the basis of his or her protected class. The Importance of Fair Housing Act lies in the fact that brokers, sellers, lenders, and insurers cannot adopt discriminatory policies against people in the protected class. The law has been enacted to discourage discriminatory practices on the part of landlords, lenders, brokers, and insurers for certain groups of people.

Who Are In The Protected Class

It is a comprehensive group of people identified by Color, disability, single mothers, cast and religion.

Why The Fair Housing Act Is Important

The Importance of Fair Housing Act lies in the fact that it is a comprehensive act that seeks to address discrimination of people on the basis of cast, religion, color, etc., in securing a place to stay. It has defined specific groups of people in classes who have borne the brunt of discrimination for quite a long time. So it includes people with colored skin, various disabilities, single mothers, people belonging to specific religions and nationalities, women, LGBT, etc.

So the Importance of Fair Housing Act lies in empowers these groups of people to bargain and contest in situations where they are being denied any scope of renting, buying, borrowing money for buying a house or mortgaging a house.

Though it is more or less a comprehensive act, there are few escape routes for property owners to deny housing to specific groups on.

Properties Outside The Purview Of Fair Housing Act

There are certain exceptional situations and properties where you cannot invoke your rights under the Fair Housing Act. You cannot invoke your right if the property is a:

  • Single-family house being advertised for sale or rent without engaging a broker
  • Owner occupied home with less than four units
  • Club or private organization meant only for members
  • Housing meant only for elderly people

You also cannot invoke your right if you are aged since age is not a criterion for inclusion in a protected class.

Despite the above exceptions, if a single-family house or an owner-occupied home with less than four units make discriminatory statements while putting up their property for sale or rent by incorporating prejudiced terms, one can invoke his rights under the Fair Housing Act.

Upholding Your Rights Under The Fair Housing Act

While the rights are enacted and made into a law, upholding these rights starts with you. The importance of fair housing act is accentuated by its punitive measures. However, you need to report to the appropriate authorities if you face discrimination in selling, renting or mortgaging your house or buying a new one. You can:

  • Record conversations with house owners so that you can record prejudiced terms in the offer of the house owner if any.
  • Keep a track of your credit rating. Some people may want to deny your housing rights on the plea of poor credit.
  • See if a particular seller or house owner is asking for different information, documents, fees, etc., from different groups of people.


Hope this article provide you a clear picture of why fair housing is so important and how you can upholding your rights under the Fair Housing Act.

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