Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and State and local government housing. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence. Other covered activities include, for example, financing, zoning practices, new construction design, and advertising.

The Fair Housing Act requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities. For example, a landlord with a "no pets" policy may be required to grant an exception to this rule and allow an individual who is blind to keep a guide dog in the residence. The Fair Housing Act also requires landlords to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, as well as to common use spaces. The Act further requires that new multifamily housing with four or more units be designed and built to allow access for persons with disabilities. This includes accessible common use areas, doors that are wide enough for wheelchairs, kitchens and bathrooms that allow a person using a wheelchair to maneuver, and other adaptable features within the units.

Complaints of Fair Housing Act violations may be filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For more information or to file a complaint, contact:

Office of Program Compliance and Disability Rights Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street, S.W. , Room 5242
Washington, D.C. 20140
(800) 669-9777 (voice)
(800) 927-9275 (TTY)

For questions about the Fair Housing Act, you may call the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at:
(202) 708-2333 (voice) (202) 401-1247 (TTY)

For publications, you may call the Housing and Urban Development Customer Service Center at:
(800) 767-7468 (voice) (800) 877-8339 (TTY)


Department of Justice - Fair Housing
The Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division is responsible for the Department's enforcement of the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines
This document presents guidelines adopted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide builders and developers with technical guidance on how to comply with the specific accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.

Supplement to Notice of Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines: Questions and Answers about the Guidelines
This document reproduces the questions that have been most frequently asked about the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines and HUD's answers to these questions.

Center for Universal Design - Housing & Built Environments
The Center for Universal Design conducts research and provides information and services about various areas of housing, including fair housing practices, home modifications and accessible and universal design features in homes.

Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST
Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is a new initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designed to promote compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. The program consists of a comprehensive training curriculum, as well as a toll-free information line and website designed to provide technical guidance to the public.

Disability Rights Laws Applicable to Student Housing
A table analysing the the various disability laws that may be applicable to post-secondary student housing.