The Basics of Fair Housing
Economic/Finance, Housing, Land Use, Population
Fair housing laws are intended to prevent discrimination in how housing is sold, rented, appraised, financed, and advertised. These laws protect everyone. They protect people of all races and religions, people with disabilities, the elderly, and families with children. These laws also protect all homeowners and residents from being victimized by destructive practices such as steering potential residents to only certain communities, neighborhoods, or developments. Fair housing laws mainly regulate the actions of property owners, landlords, lenders, realtors, and appraisers. However, municipalities also must comply. Municipal responsibilities are derived from a complex and changing body of law. This paper is intended to brief municipal officials with only the basics of these responsibilities.