April is Fair Housing Month

fair housingApril is National Fair Housing Month, however, Fair Housing is extremely important and something we need to think about every day.

I make sure everyone is treated fairly!

This may be a long post, but very important …. It contains who is protected, what is protected and where you can go to complain if you feel your rights were not protected. At the end is our REALTOR® Fair Housing Oath confirming what we believe in as members of the REALTOR® Association.

HUD No. 14-028
Shantae Goodloe (202) 708-0685

FOR RELEASE April, 2014

HUD MARKS FAIR HOUSING MONTH

WASHINGTON – Each April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses Fair Housing Month to mark the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the landmark law passed shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status. This year’s Fair Housing Month theme is “Fair Housing is Your Right: Use It!” Throughout the month, HUD will cast a spotlight on the persistent problem that exists in this country, as individuals and families continue to face both blatant and subtle forms of housing discrimination.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan launched this year’s commemoration at an event featuring the new film *”A Matter of Place,” which documents three personal stories of housing discrimination in New York City. Underwritten by a grant provided under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiative Program, the film profiles three examples of housing discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and source of income and features commentary from legal experts, civil rights advocates and fair housing testers.

“This month is an opportunity to recommit to the principle that fair housing is an essential part of everything we do; every grant we make; every building we build; and every community we work with,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “And we will go to the mat in order to ensure the right of every American to fair housing. Although the times have changed – our commitment to this work remains as strong as ever. It is at the core of our mission.”

“Fair Housing Month is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on just how far we’ve come to make our housing more equitable and how far we still have to go to end housing discrimination,” said HUD Acting FHEO Assistant Secretary Bryan Greene. “Fair housing is about giving people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and whenever this opportunity is denied, not only do families lose, our entire nation loses.”

Each year, HUD and communities and organizations across the country recognize Fair Housing Month by hosting an array of activities that enhance the public’s awareness of their fair housing rights and promote the nation’s commitment to end housing discrimination.

In addition to the legal protections provided under the Fair Housing Act prohibiting housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status, approximately 20 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities, towns and counties across the nation also prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families. In 2012, HUD published new regulations to ensure that the Department’s core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, 12 states and the District of Columbia, as well as several counties and municipalities protect persons against housing discrimination based on their source of income. **

What Are Protected Rights?

(from the National Fair Housing.org)

The federal Fair Housing Act protects your right to rent an apartment, buy a home, obtain a mortgage, or purchase homeowners insurance free from discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • National Origin
  • Disability (mental and physical)
  • Familial Status (presence of children under 18 in the home)

What is Housing Discrimination?

(from the National Fair Housing.org)

How do you know if you have been the victim of illegal housing discrimination? Housing discrimination comes in many forms and is often subtle. Some signs of possible discrimination include:

  • A refusal to sell, rent, or show available housing
  • Requiring different terms and conditions for identical dwellings, i.e. charging higher rent, security deposit for different tenants
  • Being told that the dwelling isn’t right for you or your family
  • Being told that housing isn’t available in an apartment with a “For Rent” sign
  • Housing advertisements that say “no kids” or “adults only”
  • A refusal to make a reasonable accommodation or allow a modification to make the dwelling accessible for a person with a disability
  • Harassment or intimidation
  • Offering non‐standard and unfavorable terms in the purchase of a home or property insurance
  • Terms of availability that change between a phone contact and an in‐person visit
  • Being steered to racially segregated neighborhoods during your home search
  • Excessive or inappropriate questioning upon requesting information about a dwelling

Unintentional Housing Discrimination

Fair Housing and Lending

Discrimination in mortgage lending is prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act and HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity actively enforces those provisions of the law. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to engage in the following practices based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):

  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan or set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

Click HERE to find out HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT for Housing or Finance Discrimination.

REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration

realtorAs members of the National Association of REALTORS®, WE agree to:

  • Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or sexual orientation of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community.
  • Develop advertising that indicates that everyone is welcome and no one is excluded;, expanding my client’s and customer’s opportunities to see, buy, or lease property.
  • Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information.
  • Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful REALTOR®.
  • Refuse to tolerate non-compliance.
  • Learn about those who are different from me, and celebrate those differences.
  • Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law.
  • Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration.

**HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.

More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and
http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDGov, on facebook at
www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.

*“A Matter of Place”

A MATTER OF PLACE from Fred Freiberg on Vimeo.

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