What Is Fair Housing?

Passed in 1968, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings based on membership in certain protected classes.

Protected Classes Include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability

fair housing washington pa

Pennsylvania also adds:

  • Age
  • Ancestry

Local Ordinances can add additional protected classes.

Discrimination Includes:

  • Refusal to rent or sell housing
  • Refusal to negotiate for housing
  • Making housing unavailable
  • Denying a dwelling
  • Setting different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Providing different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely denying that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • For profit, persuading owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
  • Denying anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing

It is also illegal to…

  • 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 have a disability, your landlord may not…

  • Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for a person with a disability 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 a person with a disability to use the housing.

If you need assistance with filing a Fair Housing complaint, please click on Request Services.