When house hunting, you’ve probably seen the logo for Equal Opportunity Housing, which is a law that was established back in 1968 to prevent discrimination by renters. Here’s a few things you should know about the Fair Housing Act.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King. King rallied for anti-discrimination for all people. The Fair Housing Act makes it law that no one can be discriminated against based on race, religion, age, disability, sex, or familial status.
When the Equal Opportunity Housing Act was signed, discrimination was a major problem in the United States. Qualified renters were denied places to live based on race, and some renters were attempting to segregate entire neighborhoods.
Unfortunately, renters are still being discriminated against, and when it does happen, most renters don’t know what to do about it.
Discrimination can occur at any point of the renting or buying process, and by any person aiding in the process. For example, if your real estate agent advises against shopping for a home in a particular neighborhood because of the color of your skin, or a mortgage broker is asking for much more documentation than they would from another family applying for a loan, that’s against the Fair Housing Act.
If you feel you’ve been discriminated against, there are several steps to take. First, file a report with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Find legal counsel to help you with your complaint, and talk to trusted friends who can help you get back on track to finding the right house for you and your family.