Every year, April is dubbed “Fair Housing Month” to celebrate the Fair Housing Act of 1968. That was an important step toward ending the housing discrimination against minorities and women that created segregated communities and artificial barriers toward homeownership.
Over the years, minorities have found it less and less difficult to obtain housing wherever they want, but that doesn’t mean the struggle is entirely over.
Could you be a victim of housing discrimination?
Housing discrimination is usually targeted at people based on their race, skin color, religion, country of origin, gender, familial status (particularly if they have minor children), gender or gender identity. It can happen at any level of the journey toward becoming a homeowner. For example:
- A mortgage lender refuses to consider your disability income for purposes of giving you a loan.
- A homeowner refuses to even consider your bid on their home once they find out that you’re Black, Hispanic or Muslim.
- Your real estate professional seems determined to steer you away from the neighborhoods you want and keeps suggesting that you’d be more “comfortable” in a largely minority neighborhood because you’re an immigrant.
- An appraiser gives a home an artificially low value (that is not in line with any defects in the property) either because the buyer or the seller is a person of color.
These are just some of the problems that can arise when there is housing discrimination – and buyers and sellers can both be taken by surprise when it happens. However, there is help available. Often, protecting your rights starts by making sure that you have experienced legal guidance throughout your home sale or purchase process.