Fair Housing

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Business Law I APPLIED RESEARCH
Fair housing Laws

A course paper presented to the School for Arts and Sciences and Distance Learning in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Baccalaureate

Business Law I
Park University
September, 2006

You would think that today’s society would not discriminate against someone based on their race, color, or national origin. With the changes in lifestyle, people continue to discriminate against those, but also someone’s sexual orientation. Even with laws and regulations, it continues in all parts of the country. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, more specifically Title VI, stated that you could not discriminate against anyone in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is known as the Fair Housing Act. This provision protects discrimination against race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. The difference between the two Acts is the one of 1968 prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of homes (Fair Housing Organization, 2003).

These acts started in 1964 to protect all people in the United States that wanted to be treated like everyone else, especially when purchasing a home. Throughout the years, amendments and provisions have been made to the ever changing lifestyle of our society. Some of the changes include the Rehabilitation Act to protect people with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial aid, protection against discrimination with state and local public housing and housing assistance, and buildings must be accessible or changeable to accommodate person with disabilities (Fair Housing Org, 2003). Not all provisions are for persons with disabilities, but these are important to the lifestyle of our community members.

Under the Fair Housing Act, it covers most housing and protects many differently people from discrimination. It is against the law to refuse to rent or sell housing, negotiate for housing, make housing unavailable, or deny a home based on someone’s race, familial status or disability. It is illegal for anyone to discriminate on this basis, but some people still believe that it will make their community or neighborhood a better place to keep the same “type” of people in the same area. It is also against the law to place the same race, gender, or people with handicaps in the same area of housing; you cannot segregate the types of people within an area. No matter who is looking at an apartment or house, you have to treat everyone equally. The same application process, show them all available properties, give everyone the same terms to move in and loans must be the same based the person, not on what they look like. If you advertise a property, you cannot state or show preference for certain races or cultures. You can’t refuse a loan or have different rates either. Most of these seem to be common sense, but there are groups of people that have to protect the community and enforce these laws.

One group that protects all people, no matter of race, creed or religion, is the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Their mission is “to create equal housing opportunities for all people living in America by administering laws that prohibit discrimination in housing” (HUD, 2006). They not only enforce the federal laws, they help establish new policies to ensure equal opportunities for all people in the United States. Managing programs, awarding grants, working with other agencies and reviewing complaints add to their already large list of assistance provided. This corporation has offices all over the country and also helps people find someone in their local area to protect them from any type of discrimination.

I spoke earlier about the statutes and provisions to the Fair Housing Act, and understanding what they are and how they work can help people understand what they are protected against. People...
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