Prohibits discrimination in housing and residential real estate transactions.
Nature of Program
: HUD has responsibility for enforcing the Fair Housing Act, which applies to almost all housing in the country. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status (including individuals or families with children under 18 years of age and pregnant women, though certain housing for older persons does not have familial status protections).
The Fair Housing Act also prohibits discrimination in residential real estate-related transactions and makes it illegal to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with people exercising their rights under the Act or assisting others in exercising their rights. The Fair Housing Act also prohibits the adoption and enforcement of discriminatory zoning and land use ordinances. Furthermore, since 1991, most multifamily dwellings of four or more units have been required to be designed and built so that the units are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Fair Housing Act, in conjunction with other statutes, also provides that HUD must administer all of its programs and activities in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing, which includes ensuring that recipients of HUD funding take action to affirmatively further fair housing. Many recipients of HUD funding are required to comply with HUD's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. The process under the rule includes conducting an assessment of fair housing, setting goals to overcome contributing factors and related fair housing issues, and ultimately taking meaningful actions to affirmatively further fair housing. Anyone who believes that he or she has been discriminated against can file a complaint with any HUD office in person, by mail, online, or by telephone within one year after the alleged discrimination has occurred. HUD or an equivalent state or local agency will investigate and attempt to conciliate the complaint. If it is not conciliated and it appears that discrimination has occurred, then HUD will issue a charge. A HUD administrative law judge (ALJ) will hold a hearing unless either party chooses to take a case to federal district court.
: Any individual experiencing housing discrimination may file a complaint with any HUD office, in person, by mail, online, or by telephone, not later than one year after the alleged discriminatory act has occurred or terminated. An aggrieved person may also file suit in a federal court not later than two years after the alleged discriminatory act has occurred or terminated, whether or not a complaint has been filed with HUD. HUD has established a national toll-free housing discrimination hotline at: (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
: Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968(42 U.S.C. 3601-3619). Regulations are at 24 CFR parts 100, 103, and 180
: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Office of Enforcement, Enforcement Support Division.
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