Discrimination in Housing
While many view the federal Fair Housing Act as a civil rights law, directed at preventing racial discrimination, in fact the federal Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination based on a number of consumer characteristics.
The North Carolina Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in housing because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental handicaps, or family status (families with children). The law applies to the sale, rental and financing of residential housing. Apartments, houses, mobile homes and even vacant lots to be used for housing are covered by the Fair Housing Act. With a few exceptions, anyone who has control over residential property and real estate financing must obey the law. This includes rental managers, property owners, real estate agents, landlords, banks, developers, builders and individual homeowners who are selling or renting their property.
What is Prohibited ?
In the sale or rental of housing, no one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or handicap (disability):
- 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
- Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental
In addition, it is against the law to:
- Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or handicap (disability).
- Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right.
What Groups are Protected?
- Racial and ethnic minority groups
- Religious minority groups
- People with disabilities
- Families with children
- Families or people receiving public assistance or a housing subsidy
- Older people