FAIR HOUSING LAWS

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development states that equal access to rental housing and homeownership opportunities is the cornerstone of this nation’s federal housing policy. Housing discrimination is not only illegal; it contradicts in every way the principles of freedom and opportunity for all citizens.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits the refusal to sell, finance, rent to, or negotiate with any person on the basis of:

  • RACE
  • COLOR

  • GENDER

  • FAMILIAL STATUS (PREGNANCY, PRESENCE OF MINOR CHILDREN, OR IN THE PROCESS OF ADOPTING OR TAKING CUSTODY OF A MINOR)

  • NATIONAL ORIGIN

  • RELIGION

  • DISABILITY​

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

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

Sec. 109 Title I of the Housing & Community Development Act of 1974: 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: 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: 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: prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

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

In Illinois, the Illinois Human Rights Acts identifies additional protected classes which include:

  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION & GENDER IDENTITY

  • AGE (40 and above)

  • MARITAL STATUS

  • ORDER OF PROTECTION STATUS

  • ANCESTRY

  • MILITARY STATUS

  • UNFAVORABLE MILITARY DISCHARGE

In Cook County, the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance provides additional protections based upon:

  • PARENTAL STATUS

  • MILITARY DISCHARGE STATUS

  • SOURCE OF INCOME

  • HOUSING STATUS

Additional Resource: City of Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance

AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING (AFFH)

On July 16, 2015, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published its final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. This rule specifies that, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) means taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.”

Affirmatively furthering fair housing goes beyond uncovering discrimination & developing affordable housing. AFFH is taking proactive steps beyond simply combating discrimination to foster more inclusive communities and access to community assets for all persons protected by the Fair Housing Act. The AFFH process begins with honest and inclusive community conversation and culminates in shaping action plans and other programs that strengthen our neighborhoods and provide the strongest possible foundation for families. It must encompass policies that encourage racial and ethnic integration and include accessibility & housing for larger families. Affirmatively furthering fair housing is accomplished through implementing policies, practices, programs, and development that promotes integration.

Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance

(872) 228-7844

401 S. LaSalle Street

Suite 1101 

Chicago, IL 60605

©2018 BY CHICAGO AREA FAIR HOUSING ALLIANCE