HUD Guidelines for Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act protects individuals from discrimination in purchasing and renting housing. Following are guidelines set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in determining what is considered discrimination (HUD 1260 FHEO April 1993). The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of:
- National origin
- Familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18)
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members. In the sale and rental of housing: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap:
In mortgage lending: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap:
- Refuse to rent or sell housing
- Refuse to negotiation for housing
- Make housing unavailable
- Deny a dwelling
- Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
- Provide different housing services or facilities
- Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
- For profit, persuade owner to sell or rent (blockbusting)
- Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.
In addition: It is illegal for anyone to:
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Impose different terms or conditions on a loan
- Discriminate in appraising property
- Refuse to purchase a loan
- Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan.
- Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
- Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap.
This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act. If you or someone associated with you:
Your landlord may not:
- Have a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex or mental retardation) that substantially limits one or more major life activities
- Have a record of such a disability or
- Are regarded as having such a disability...
However, housing need not be made available to a person who is a direct threat to the health or safety of others or who currently uses illegal drugs.
- Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the handicapped person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore the property to its original condition when you move).
- Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the handicapped person to use the housing.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against under these Fair Housing guidelines, you can request an investigation. The first step is to contact the City of Lubbock's Fair Housing Officer. Phyllis Brown is the current Fair Housing Officer. If you want to submit a complaint, you need to provide the Fair Housing Officer with the following information:
- Your name and address
- The name and address of the person your complaint is against
- The address or other identification of the housing involved
- A short description of the alleged violation (the event that caused you to believe your rights were violated)
- The date(s) of the alleged violation
The Fair Housing Officer is responsible for hearing discrimination claims and determining what steps must be taken to resolve the situation. To file a claim, write a letter including the above information and send to: City of Lubbock
Attention: Fair Housing Officer
PO Box 2000, Lubbock Texas 79457-2000
Or Contact: Joe Rangel
If you prefer, you can call the US Department of Housing and Urban Development toll-free at 1-800-669-9777 (TDD 1-800-927-9275).