Learn More About Fair Housing

Fair Housing Act

The federal Fair Housing Act, enacted on April 11, 1968, provides the basis for fair housing laws in the United States. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. For example, it means that a housing professional, such as a landlord or realtor, cannot refuse to rent to a person simply because that person is African American or uses a wheelchair.

Under the Fair Housing Act, it is against the law for a housing professional to:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for the rental or sale of housing
  • Make housing unavailable or deny that housing is available
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for the sale or rental of housing
  • Advertise in a discriminatory way
  • Threaten, coerce or intimidate anyone exercising fair housing rights

The types of housing covered under the Fair Housing Act include apartments, private housing, public housing, condominiums, homeless shelters, mobile home parks, nursing homes and nonprofit housing programs.

Read the Fair Housing Act (click here for PDF).

NJ Law Against Discrimination

In New Jersey, Laws Against Discrimination (LAD) include the federally protected classes and extend to prohibit housing discrimination on the bases of a person’s Creed, Ancestry, Marital or Domestic Partnership or Civil Union Status, Pregnancy, Gender Identity or Expression, Affectional or Sexual Orientation, Source of Lawful Income or Source of Lawful Rent Payment (including Section 8), or Liability for Service in the U.S. Armed Forces

Read the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (click here for PDF).

Protection for People with Disabilities

To comply with fair housing laws, landlords and other housing professionals must permit reasonable accommodations and allow reasonable modifications for people with disabilities. In addition, when certain condominiums and apartment buildings are being built, they must meet design and construction accessibility requirements under the Fair Housing Act.

Have you faced housing discrimination? Contact New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund at 732-246-4772, or fhintake@njcitizenaction.org