Equal Opportunity Housing
Home buying is one of the most significant events that an individual experiences in their lifetime. It directly impacts the hopes, dreams, aspirations and their economic destiny. It is for this reason that the Fair Housing Act and other state laws were enacted to guarantee a right to a national housing market free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status and national origin.
Civil Rights Act of 1866 states:
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.
The Fair Housing Act states:
The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal in any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
Americans with Disabilities Act states:
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act states:
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, martial status, age or because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program.
For the Home Seller or Landlord:
A home seller or landlord has the responsibility and is required under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental or financing of any property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. You as a home seller or landlord cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because as real estate professionals they are bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or a landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental, deny that housing is available or advertise that the property is available to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
For You, the Home Seeker:
You as the home seeker have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. This includes the right that you as a home seeker to expect:
- Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination
- Equal professional service
- The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
- No discrimination limitations on communities or location of housing
- No discrimination in financing, appraising or insuring of housing
- Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for any persons with disabilities
The Real Estate Professional:
As Real Estate Agents, agents are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. A request from any home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.
The Realtor Fair Housing Program:
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS has developed a Fair Housing Program to provide resources and guidance to REALTORS in ensuring equal professional services for all people. The term REALTOR identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. Not all licensed real estate professionals, brokers or salespersons are members of the National Association and only those who are may identify themselves as REALTORS. They conduct their business and all activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics.
The Realtor Code of Ethics:
Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTOR Code of Ethics provides that “Realtors shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Realtors shall not be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.”
A Realtor pledges to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS and is also a firm statement of the support for equal opportunity housing.
If you suspect Discrimination call your local Board of Realtors, call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.