What Is the Federal Fair Housing Act and Whom Does it Protect?
The Federal Fair Housing Act refers to Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (www.justice.gov). This Act, protects your right to rent an apartment, buy a home, obtain a mortgage, or purchase homeowners insurance free from discrimination based on:
Familial Status, and
In addition to the Act, the following legislation and executive orders may apply and provide a basis for federal fair housing enforcement:
All housing is covered by fair housing laws although there may be differences in how some laws and provisions are applied. Only owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members are exempt under certain circumstances.
While not exempt, some properties follow special guidance under the Housing for Older Persons Amendment ("HOPA") to the Fair Housing Act, which can change the way a property must follow familial status protections under fair housing law. Review the HOPA (PDF) (hud.gov). For additional guidance, please read HUD's HOPA FAQs (PDF) (hud.gov).