What Is Housing Discrimination?


Quick Answer

Housing discrimination encompasses the refusal to rent, sell or negotiate equal housing terms with a person based on her age, race, sex, familial status or disability. Other discriminating factors include religion, skin color and national origin. Housing discrimination includes denying access to or membership in an organization pertaining to the sale of housing. It also includes threatening to interfere with a person making a fair housing complaint.

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Full Answer

Housing discrimination can occur when a person isn't shown property on the basis of a discriminating factor, when a different rental or sales price is negotiated for one person and not another, and when there is a refusal to make a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability. Discrimination can also occur when a person is subjected to unreasonable questioning upon making a housing inquiry, when a person is steered into a specific neighborhood due to racial or age segregation, and when the terms of a lease or contract change between a phone inquiry and in-person visit.

If you suspect housing discrimination, call or send a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or a similar state or local agency. You can also file a lawsuit in court, if necessary.

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