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Fair Housing Legislation

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability). Title VIII was amended in 1988 (effective March 12, 1989) by the Fair Housing Amendments Act.

The Fair Housing Act applies to all housing throughout the United States.

Affiliated Legislation and Presidential Executive Orders
In addition to the Fair Housing Act, there are several other affiliated laws and Presidential Executive Orders administered by the U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD), which apply to housing and other programs that receive Federal assistance. Such legislation has been enacted to ensure equal access to housing; guarantee equal opportunity in all Housing & Urban Development (HUD) programs; and prohibit, to a limited extent, discrimination in employment with respect to HUD programs. The Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) administers and enforces these regulations.

A listing of legislation and programs follows. You may click on any one of the headings for a link to a full copy of the legislation. Or, you may learn more by clicking here.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Section 109 of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974
Section 109 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or religion in programs and activities receiving financial assistance from HUD’s Community Development and Block Grant Program.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Title II prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. HUD enforces Title II when it relates to state and local public housing, housing assistance and housing referrals.

Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
The Architectural Barriers Act requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with certain federal funds after September 1969 must be accessible to and useable by handicapped persons.

Age Discrimination Act of 1975
The Age Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Fair Housing-Related Presidential Executive Orders:

Executive Order 11063
Executive Order 11063 prohibits discrimination in the sale, leasing, rental, or other disposition of properties and facilities owned or operated by the federal government or provided with federal funds.

Executive Order 11246
Executive Order 11246, as amended, bars discrimination in federal employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Executive Order 12892
Executive Order 12892, as amended, requires federal agencies to affirmatively further fair housing in their programs and activities, and provides that the Secretary of HUD will be responsible for coordinating the effort. The Order also establishes the President’s Fair Housing Council, which will be chaired by the Secretary of HUD.

Executive Order 12898
Executive Order 12898 requires that each federal agency conduct its program, policies, and activities that substantially affect human health or the environment in a manner that does not exclude persons based on race, color, or national origin.

Executive Order 13217
Executive Order 13217 requires federal agencies to evaluate their policies and programs to determine if any can be revised or modified to improve the availability of community-based living arrangements for persons with disabilities.