Fair Housing Act and Impact on Home Buying, Part 1

Posted by Help Now on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 at 7:11am.

Just like in any other walk of life, all those who are applying for any kind of housing situation, from a home purchase and mortgage to a rental or other forms of housing assistance, deserve to be treated equally. There should be no discriminatory practices carried out by anyone involved in such processes, and these common sense principles are also protected by law – namely the Fair Housing Act.

At Daybreak Living, we’re proud to offer our wide variety of homes for sale to a diverse range of buyers with a fully inclusive, non-discriminatory program. For those wondering about its details or what it protects, this two-part blog series will cover all the basics of the Fair Housing Act, plus how it may impact you during your home search.

fair housing act home buying

Fair Housing Act Basics

The Fair Housing Act, which was passed in 1968, was actually not the first attempt at creating fair, non-discriminatory housing in the United States. Such attempts had been taking place for over a century prior to this law being passed, including the Rumford Fair Housing Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 1968, however, just a week after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Fair Housing Act passed and made an immediate impact. It covers numerous forms of potential discrimination in the housing process, which we’ll detail specifically in our subsequent sections.

Discrimination Types Prohibited

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against seven specific classes during any home sale, purchase, rental situation, mortgage or housing assistance application. These classes include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Familial status
  • Religion
  • National origin

Examples of Discriminatory Practices

Here are some examples of common or historical forms of discrimination that are now generally prohibited by the Fair Housing Act:

  • Imposing different terms, conditions, interest rates or fees based on any of the classes listed above.
  • Refusing to sell or negotiate with someone based on a protected class status.
  • “Steering:” Limiting information in certain neighborhoods to buyers based on protected class.
  • “Blockbusting:” Convincing owners to sell or rent based on changing demographics in an area.
  • “Redlining:” Refusing to provide mortgages or insurance costs based on protected class or area, or charging higher rates based on these factors.
  • Predatory lending: Using deceptive or abusive lending practices that inflate homeownership costs.
  • Advertising housing in a discriminatory manner by implying through marketing materials that opportunities for such housing may be restricted to certain classes.
  • Ignoring homeowner association policies on occupancy limits or square footage that could create a disparate impact on protected classes.

For more on the Fair Housing Act and how it may impact your home search, or to learn about any of our homes for sale or realtor services, speak to the staff at Daybreak Living today.

About the Author:

Utah Dave - Neighborhood ExpertUtah Dave - Daybreak Neighboorhood Expert and Local Resident

My friends nicknamed me Utah Dave in high school because they said it didn't matter where we went in Utah, I would know how to get there and who we needed to talk to. The name sticks today as UtahDave has formed into a professional real estate network of Neighborhood Experts all across the state. I live in Daybreak with my wife and 4 amazing children. I enjoy dancing (which is how I met my wife Dawn) as well as traveling, coaching, and learning.

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