Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act originally applied to discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It was later amended to extend the protections to people with disabilities. Discrimination includes:
- Refusal to let a person make reasonable modifications to the premises at his/her own expense, as necessary to enable "full enjoyment of the premises"
- Refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, and services, as necessary to afford an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling
- Failure to design and construct dwellings with accessible common use areas; wide doors; accessible routes through the building; reachable switches, outlets, and environmental controls; bathrooms reinforced for grab bars; and kitchens and baths usable by individuals in wheel chairs
The above stated provisions regarding accessibility apply only to buildings with four or more units.
The provisions of the Fair Housing Act are intended to apply not only to discriminatory practices by landlords to deny housing, but also to state or local land use and safety laws, regulations, and practices that have the same effect.