Fair Housing is Your Right!
If you have been denied your housing rights, you may have experienced housing discrimination. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in housing because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental handicaps, or family status (families with children). The law applies to the sale, rental and financing of residential housing. Apartments, houses, mobile homes and even vacant lots to be used for housing are covered by the Fair Housing Act. With a few exceptions, anyone who has control over residential property and real estate financing must obey the law. This includes rental managers, property owners, real estate agents, landlords, banks, developers, builders and individual homeowners who are selling or renting their property.
What is Fair Housing?
Under the laws of the Federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to do any of the following based on factors of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status (families with children under the age of 18 or those expecting children) or handicap:
- Refuse to rent or sell housing to you.
- Tell you that housing is unavailable when in fact it is available.
- Show you apartments or homes only in certain neighborhoods, unless you specifically requested a limited search.
- Advertise housing only to preferred groups of people.
- Refuse to provide you with information regarding mortgage loans.
- Deny you a mortgage loan or impose different terms or conditions on a mortgage loan.Deny you property insurance.
- Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner.
- Refuse to make certain modifications or accommodations for persons with a documented physical or mental disability, including persons recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and HIV/AIDS-related illnesses.
- Fail to design and construct housing in an accessible manner.
- Harass, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising their Fair Housing Rights or assisting someone else with their Fair Housing rights.
The following are not protected categories under fair housing laws:
- Problems with personal credit
- Marital status
- Student housing
- Persons posing a direct threat to public health and safety, such as those who use illegal drugs
If you feel you have been discriminated against and wish to file a complaint, your local contact is Sherry Gordon, Community Development Program Administrator, City of Kannapolis, 401 Laureate Way, (704) 920-4332 or email Sherry Gordon.
You may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 1-800-440-8091 or TTY 1-800-927-9275, or go to www.hud.gov/offices/fheo.
You can also contact the North Carolina Human Relations Commission, which is charged with enforcing Fair Housing laws in the state.
George Allison, Director
N.C. Human Relations Commission
1318 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1318
100 East Six Forks Road, Second Floor
Raleigh, NC 27609
Toll Free 1-866-324-7474 (1-866-FAIR-HSG)
For additional information, you can also go to www.fairhousingnc.org, which is a site developed by Legal Aid of North Carolina to inform citizens about fair housing and their rights.