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Choosing Where to Live

Housing Discrimination

What is housing discrimination?

Housing discrimination is discrimination against any person seeking to rent a home or to purchase a home or to secure financing for a home or to sell a home on the basis of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or mental or physical disability.

Is housing discrimination against the law?

Yes. Housing discrimination is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act.

What is the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act is Title VIII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1968. It prohibits discrimination against any person seeking to rent a home or to purchase a home or to secure financing for a home or to sell a home on the basis of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or mental or physical disability. Both intentional housing discrimination and housing practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect are prohibited by the Fair Housing Act.

To learn more about the purpose of the Fair Housing Act, please visit https://www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act. To read the text of the Fair Housing Act, please visit https://www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-2.

What are some examples of housing discrimination?

Examples of housing discrimination include:

  • refusal by a landlord to rent a home to a prospective tenant because the prospective tenant has young children
  • refusal by an HOA to approve the purchase of a home because the prospective buyer practices a particular religion
  • denial of a mortgage or the imposition of a higher lending rate by a financial institution because the prospective borrower is a member of a racial minority
  • refusal by a real estate agent to show a particular home or a home in a particular neighborhood because the prospective buyer has a mental disability
  • requirement by a landlord that a higher monthly rent or larger security deposit be paid because the prospective tenant is a recent immigrant
  • denial by an HOA of access to or the use of a particular facility or service that is normally available to any resident because the tenant or owner is a member of a racial minority 
  • refusal by landlord to permit and facilitate a reasonable accommodation in the form of an assistive animal or designated parking or modifications to the property to a tenant with a physical disability
  • posting of an advertisement by a landlord stating that only applications by persons fluent in English will be considered
  • repeated sexual harassment of a tenant by a landlord
  • retaliation against any renter, buyer, loan applicant, or seller who has filed a complaint about housing discrimination

What may I do if I believe that my rights have been violated?

If you believe that your rights under the Fair Housing Act have been violated, you may file complaints with both the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Civil Rights Division of the Office of the Arizona Attorney General.

To learn more about filing a housing discrimination complaint at the federal level, you may contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or visit the following webpage:

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint

To learn more about filing a housing discrimination complaint at the state level, you may contact the Civil Rights Division of the Office of the Arizona Attorney General at 1-877-491-5742 (Phoenix office) or 1-877-491-5740 (Tucson office) or visit the following webpage:

https://housing.az.gov/have-you-been-discriminated-against-when-making-your-housing-choice

Sources

Arizona Department of Housing – Fair Housing: https://housing.az.gov/general-public/fair-housing

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development – Fair Housing: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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