Fair housing is a civil right. It is protected by federal and state fair housing laws. Everyone has the right to equal treatment free of discrimination when renting or buying a home, applying for homeowners insurance or mortgages, or in any other housing-related services. When violations of the Fair Housing Act occur, available remedies can include monetary damages and court orders compelling defendants to change policies and practices.
Passed in 1968, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination by landlords and real estate agents as well as providers of housing-related services such as mortgage loans and home insurance. Other providers of housing-related services subject to the requirements of the Fair Housing Act include (but are not limited to) homeowners associations, advertisers, nursing homes, builders, developers, colleges and universities, and municipalities or other governmental agencies. It is illegal to make housing unavailable to persons because of their:
- Race or Color
- National Origin
- Sex (Gender)
- Familial status