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Equal Opportunity in Housing

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

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With limited exceptions, no housing offered commercially for sale or rental, may be advertised, sold, leased out, financed or appraised in a manner which discriminates on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status (the presence of children under the age of 18 in a household or a pregnant woman). In addition, housing providers and others must allow reasonable modifications to units and provide reasonable accommodations when these are necessary to allow a person with a disability full housing rights. Finally, multi-family housing built for occupancy after March 13, 1991, must comply with the Accessibility Guidelines established. Complaints of discrimination are investigated and conciliated. When conciliation is unsuccessful and where investigation indicates reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred or is about to occur, complainants may pursue their complaints before an Administrative law judge or in Federal district court. (The Department of Justice litigates on behalf of complainants in federal district court, or HUD litigates on their behalf in the administrative forum. Also conferences and training sessions are held to explain rights and responsibilities under the law to attorneys, developers, the real estate industry and the general public.