What is the Fair Housing Act and who is protected?
The federal 1968 Fair Housing Act intended to allow everyone equal access to own, sell purchase, or rent housing of their choice without fear of unlawful discrimination. Individuals and all housing providers – including renters, owners, property managers, sales managers and housing associations are protected.
What classes are protected from housing discrimination in Ohio?
Disability, Race, Sex, National Origin, Religion, Family Status, Military Status, and Ancestry are the classes protected against discrimination in the sale or rental of housing or residential lots, in the advertising of housing, in the finance of housing, in the provision of real estate brokerage services, and in the appraisal of housing.
Let’s talk about discriminatory behaviors:
- Asking a prospective resident “How many kids do you have?” or “Are you pregnant?” is discriminatory as it illegal to refuse housing based on the makeup on your family (Familial Status)
- Landlords who falsely alter availability or cost of a unit
- Failure of a real estate/leasing agent to return a phone call
- People with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation, an adjustment in policies or practices necessary to afford a person with disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling (examples include: allowing service or assistance animals, providing an assigned parking space closer to a unit, adding a ramp to make entrance possible)
- Sexual harassment by a landlord, maintenance worker, or anyone associated with your property is against the law. The Fair Housing Act protects you from harassment, including entering your home without permission, making unwelcome sexual advances, or refusing to make repairs because they are denied sexual favors
How can Knox County combat discrimination in housing?
• Educate residents and social service workers on housing rights
• Report any/all cases of suspected fair housing discrimination
• Know your Landlord-Tenant Rights
(The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988)
It is illegal to Discriminate Against Any Person Because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, or National Origin
- In the sale or rental of housing or residential lots
- In advertising the sale or rental of housing
- In the financing of housing
- In the provision of real estate brokerage services
- In the appraisal of housing
- Blockbusting is also illegal
If you think you may have been
discriminated against, call for help or file a complaint:
Knox County Fair Housing Hotline: 1-800-850-0467
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Hotline:
Ohio Civil Rights Commission: 1-888-278-7101
Local Fair Housing Contact:
Jason Booth, County Administrator,
117 E. High Street, Mount Vernon, OH 43050