In United States the House passed The Fair Housing Act in 1968. The sole objective of The Fair Housing Act is to protect the home buyer's and the renter's rights from any discrimination by the seller or landlord. It also prohibits any sort of discrimination from the municipalities, mortgage lenders, banks or insurance companies whose discriminatory practices in any way inhibits a person's right to housing facilities.
It also prohibits discrimination based on race or color, religion, sex, national origin, family status and disability. An individual can always file a case under this Act if he is denied the right to purchase or lease out property based on any of these factors. In addition to this even advertising that promotes inclination of any kind based on any of these factors can also be prosecuted under The Fair Housing Act.
Discrimination based on race and color
In most of the cases the buyers or renters are denied the right to housing due to fake declaration of unavailability of the same and they are directed towards other areas that are distinguished for that race or color. Although the law was passed in 1968 even then this has always been a major issue. In many cases it turns out that the victim is quite oblivious of the whole situation at that time and by the time he realizes it is quite late.
Discrimination based religion
The Fair Housing Act also prohibits discrimination against any member practicing a particular religion in a housing zone. Although the number of cases registered under this is fairly low as compared to cases registered under race or color and national origin. However this law does not restrict the use of non-commercial housing, operated by members of a particular religious community, for reserving housing for a member of that particular religion.
Discrimination based national origin
Any discrimination based on the national origin of a person has also been prohibited under the Fair Housing Act. The number of immigrants from all over the world is increasing every year and so does the housing need. Lots of cases come up where the seller or landlord deny or prefer person based on his national origin. Any discrimination of individuals based on his national origin by the seller, landlord or even mortgage lender can be prosecuted under this Act.
Discrimination based on sex
Women, mostly poor, with limited housing options are many times subjected to sexual harassment by the landlords wherein either they have to submit to the sexual favors of their landlords or vacate the house. Fair Housing Act also prohibits any discrimination based on sex of an individual. A woman also has the same housing rights that a man has.
Discrimination based on status of family
There are cases wherein families having children below 18 are denied any housing rights by the seller or the landlord. They deny saying that the family has more members than the house can accommodate comfortably. Most of the landlords like to lease out their property to working couples or families with grown up children. Such cases of discrimination or preference are also prohibited under The Fair Housing Act. But there are housing that is designated to the elderly or the seniors completely. Such housing is excluded from the list of prohibitions of the Act.
Discrimination based on disability
The Fair Housing Act protects the right to housing for all types of disability wherein the individual can be disabled due to blindness, hearing impairment, mobility impairment, HIV infected, drug addict, alcoholism, mentally retarded, head injury, mental illness. Any discrimination based on these factors can be subject to prosecution under this Act. Any person with disability also has the same rights as any other normal person. So why deny them the housing right.