“We are here today because we are tired. We are tired of paying more for less. We are tired of living in rat-infested slums…Segregation not only harms one physically but injures one spiritually. It scars the soul. It is a system that forever stares the segregated in the face, saying you are less than. You’re not equal to.”
Let’s take a look at current Fair Housing Laws.
The Federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act makes it illegal to discriminate based on the following seven protected characteristics:
- RACE: Refers to a family, tribe or group of people coming from the same common ancestors.
- COLOR: Refers to the color of a person’s skin
- NATIONAL ORIGIN/ETHNICITY/ANCESTRY: Refers to the country in which a person was born or from which a person’s ancestors came.
- RELIGION/CREED: Refers to all aspects of religious belief, observance and practice.
- SEX/GENDER: Includes gender (male or female), gender identity and gender expression. Also includes, but not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth or conditions related to childbirth or pregnancy.
- FAMILIAL STATUS: Refers to a situation where there is one or more persons under age 18 who reside with a parent, legal guardian, etc. This also applies in the case of pregnancy or for people who are in the process of gaining legal custody of a person under age 18.
- DISABILITY/HANDICAP: Refers to both physical and mental disabilities.
The law also includes prohibited actions in the (a) sale of housing; (b) mortgage lending; and (c) in general. Let's look at these prohibitions.
In the sale of housing:
- Refusing to sell housing
- Refusing to negotiate for housing
- Refusing to make housing available
- Denying a dwelling
- Setting different terms, conditions or privileges in the sale of a dwelling
- Falsely denying that housing is available for sale
- Blockbusting (persuading owners to sell their property at a reduced price because of fears that the neighborhood demographics may be changing)
- Denying anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale of housing.
In mortgage lending:
- Refusing to make a mortgage loan
- Refusing to provide information regarding loans
- Imposing different terms or conditions on a loan (such as different interest rates, points or fees)
- Discriminating in appraising property
- Refusing to purchase a loan
- Setting different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan
- Threatening, coercing, intimidating or interfering with or retaliating against anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others to exercise that right.
- Advertising or making any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability (this applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is exempt from the Fair Housing Act)