Fair Housing Act

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Knowing your legal rights & responsibilities is the first step to ensuring that your rights are respected.

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act is the Fair Housing Act. The intent of the Fair Housing Act is to ban discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin and disability in most housing transactions. Families with children are also protected.

New Construction

The new construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act apply if a building with four or more units was ready to live in after March 13, 1991:

  1. Public and common areas must be accessible to individuals with disabilities.
  2. Doors and hallways must be wide enough for wheelchairs.

Each unit must have:

  1. An accessible route into and through the unit,
  2. Accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls,
  3. Reinforced bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars, and
  4. Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people who use wheelchairs.

If there is an elevator, the requirements apply to every floor and every unit.

If there is not an elevator, the requirements only apply to ground floor units.