The Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination in housing based on disability or other prejudices. It ensures every law-abiding citizen capable of affording decent housing gets their share of the real estate market without discrimination.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was created to provide equal housing rights to people with disability and prevent various discriminations in housing. The act prevents people of certain races or colors from controlling the housing in particular areas. Several complaints regarding the refusal of accommodation to people from other nationalities and races in the pretense of no availability rose during that period. The government framed the act to protect people against various forms of discrimination, including disabled people, aiming to protect their fundamental rights.
All the property owners, landlords, and real estate companies were given clear guidelines on discrimination and made to treat disabled people with respect. Everest, BeHome247, Dorman, and Timberline are the top companies managing residential properties in Colorado Springs. They ensure no discrimination is shown to their customers based on disability or other bases when seeking affordable housing.
Why is it important?
People with disabilities often struggle to manage their lives as their body is a challenge for them. Safe housing in a decent area means a lot to them because they can easily commute to various places and earn their livelihood by traveling less. But, most housing communities refuse to accommodate them, fearing their disability might disturb them somehow. For example, a person with memory issues might enter another person’s home by mistake.
A person with mental illness might cause embarrassment to some people. The Fair Housing act aimed to end such societal prejudices by providing all disabled people with equal housing rights. It is an important milestone for disabled people because parents with such children or caregivers of adults with HIV and other infections struggle to find proper housing. They can now fight for their rights with the help of the law and get what is rightfully theirs like everyone else.
Who gets protected under the act?
The Fair Housing Act states there will be no discrimination in housing regarding renting, buying, or selling a property based on the following points.
- No gender, religion, race, or color discrimination
- No familial status (single, lesbian, gay) or nationality-based discrimination
- No disability-based discrimination
People who have disfigured faces, are obese, blind, mute, hearing impaired, affected by HIV, mental disorders, and mobility restricted people all fall under the disabled category. People with or without limbs, nervous disorders, wheelchair users, height disorders, and memory issues also get included in this section. They get equal housing rights like any other taxpaying citizen and must not get prohibited from gaining access to a home or charged more.
Parents and caregivers with children or adults having learning disabilities or mental illness, breathing difficulties, and issues in performing manual tasks must also get equal access to housing. People with social impairment and problems communicating themselves or working must also get equal housing rights provided they can pay the required amount.
Basic rules and regulations
The Fair Housing Act states that all people with a physical or mental disability must get equal housing rights without discrimination. The landowners, apartment associations, and real estate agencies cannot deny selling a place to a person solely because they are disabled.
The act states a disabled person must not get discriminated against a non-disabled person without giving them a fair chance. For example, a blind person cannot be denied housing in a top-floor apartment stating security risks. The mentally disabled person cannot get prohibited from using the common lobby, club, or play area that other residents enjoy.
No agency or group can permit or refuse to sell a place because of disability issues or discrimination based on an infection. For example, a municipality cannot deny permission for a center treating HIV patients, and a commercial complex cannot deny permission for a blind club.
Housing units must install reasonable arrangements for disabled people, like slopes near stairs, elevators, and even handrails in certain areas. The residential areas or commercial properties must accommodate the disabled and normal people equally, following the basic rules. However, they can refuse to make more amendments if the request of the disabled person is not reasonable or too costly.
Who doesn’t get protected?
Any person creating a potential danger to the other residents in the neighborhood does not get protected under this law. Sex offenders, drug abusers, and juvenile offenders do not come under this act even if they are disabled. The law requires people with disabilities also to act responsibly, and they will be treated without any favor in case they commit an offense. People who scare other residents through their acts like torching a place or not following the safety rules will not get protected under this act.
Smridhi Malhotra is a professional blogger and a tech writer for some well-known startups and digital agencies. Her total work experience is 10 years and some of her favorite writing areas include SaaS, cryptocurrency, business, and every other thing that’s trending. Smridhi is a management graduate and visual graphics artist and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in behavioral psychology. In her free time, she meditates, plays tennis, and reads non-fiction. You can reach her via LinkedIn.