Fair Housing Act and Discrimination Against People with Disabilities
The Fair Housing Act, enacted in 1968, is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Despite the protections offered by the Fair Housing Act, people with disabilities still face discrimination in housing, and it is essential to understand their rights under this law.
People with disabilities, including those with physical or mental impairments, are protected under the Fair Housing Act’s provisions prohibiting discrimination based on disability. This includes discrimination in rental, sales, or financing of housing. Landlords and housing providers must make reasonable accommodations to allow individuals with disabilities equal access to housing, such as installing grab bars or lowering light switches.
Additionally, housing providers may not discriminate against individuals with disabilities by refusing to rent or sell housing to them, or by making housing unavailable because of a disability. They also may not set different terms, conditions, or privileges for people with disabilities, such as charging a higher rent or requiring a larger deposit.
One of the most significant protections for people with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act is the requirement for “reasonable accommodations.” These accommodations allow people with disabilities equal access to housing, such as allowing a service animal, modifying a unit to accommodate a wheelchair, or providing reserved parking.
It’s essential to note that housing providers may not require individuals with disabilities to pay for reasonable accommodations, and they must make reasonable accommodations unless doing so would result in an undue financial or administrative burden.
If you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination based on your disability, you may file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or seek legal assistance.
In conclusion, the Fair Housing Act provides important protections for people with disabilities in housing. Despite this, discrimination still occurs, and it’s crucial to understand your rights and take action if you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination.