Housing discrimination can take many forms. Laws have been passed at the federal, state, and local levels to prohibit housing discrimination, and attorneys and many fair housing groups are working to eradicate the problem. But the solution to the fair housing problem will not come solely through the work of attorneys and fair housing agencies and organizations; it will also have to come from an educated public that is unwilling to tolerate the cost of housing discrimination. Housing discrimination affects every individual in the United States. Realtors and brokers, bankers and mortgage lenders, insurance companies and developers, real estate buyers and sellers, and landlords and tenants all are affected by the fair housing laws and need to know their respective rights and responsibilities under the law. Neighborhood residents and municipalities are also affected by illegal housing practices that occur in their communities. Everyone needs to know the law. This guide is meant to explain the fair housing laws in everyday language. It does so in a question and answer format. A better understanding by the public of the fair housing laws is essential if we are to eliminate housing discrimination. This guide is meant to answer only the most general questions. It was first published in 1994 and is revised periodically because the law continues to evolve. Persons who have a fair housing problem should contact an attorney or one of the many agencies or organizations that exists throughout the United States to deal with housing discrimination. They can also seek advice from The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center.
A Layperson's Guide to Fair Housing Law (2014)