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Equal Housing and the Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:

• Race of color
• National origin
• Religion
• Sex
• Familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18)
• Handicap (Disability)

What Housing Is Covered?

The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts 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. 

What Is Prohibited?

In the Sale and Rental of Housing: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap:

• Refuse to rent or sell housing
• Refuse to negotiate for housing
• Make housing unavailable
• Deny a dwelling
• Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
• Provide different housing services or facilities
• Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
• For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
• Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.