Fair Housing

Picture of HUD’s Fair Housing Door Exhibit in Honor of 50 Years of Fair Housing

Fair Housing Act

The Basic Rule of Fair Housing: "In most housing transactions, it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of any 'protected class.' That means housing discrimination is illegal when a person is treated differently because they are a member of a protected group or class of people covered by fair housing laws."

If a household can otherwise qualify for a housing unit, loan, insurance, or most other housing-related transactions, then the law states that they will have equal access to that transaction and cannot be denied access based on their status as a protected class. The purpose of the law is to ensure equal access to housing of choice.

Protected Classes

All Americans are provided protection under the federal Fair Housing Act. This law is meant to ensure that no person be denied housing because of their:

  • Color
  • Disability
  • Familial status
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Sex

Extra Protections

The State of Oregon and the City of Beaverton have added extra protections which state that persons cannot be denied housing because of their:

  • Age
  • Gender identity
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Source of income

What is Prohibited?

In the sale and rental of housing

No one may take any of the following actions based on the protected classes listed above:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny housing is available for inspection, sale or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting), or
  • Deny anoyone access to, or membership in, a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.

In mortgage lending

No one may take any of the following actions based on the protected classes listed above:

  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan, or
  • Ser different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan.

In Addition - It is illegal for anyone 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 protected class. (This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.)

Additional protection for people with disabilities

A housing provider may not:

  • Refuse to let a tenant make reasonable modifications to a dwelling or common use areas, at the tenant's expense, if necessary for the tenant to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the housing provider may permit changes only if the tenant agrees to restore the property to its original condition when he/she moves.)
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the tenant to use the housing.

If you believe that you have suffered any type of housing discrimination, please call the Fair Housing Council of Oregon at 503-223-8295. All calls are confidential and can be anonymous.

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