Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended

42 USC §§ 3601 et seq.
24 CFR Parts 100, 103

Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines

56 FR 9472-9515 (3/6/1991)

Enforcing Agency: 
Department of Housing and Urban Development 

Prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin.  Its coverage includes housing, regardless of type of funding, including privately owned housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and housing owned or operated by state and local governments. Prohibits discrimination in any aspect of selling or renting housing or denial of 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.  Prohibits discrimination in the terms, conditions, or privileges of a rental or sale as well as the provision of services or facilities in connection with a dwelling.  Other covered activities include, financing, zoning practices, new construction design, and advertising.

Under the Fair Housing Act, an individual with a disability is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The Act does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.

The Act covers all types of housing intended as a short or long-term residence, including the following types that are often used to house persons who are displaced by disasters:  shelters that house persons for more than a few days, transitional housing facilities, nursing homes, and manufactured housing. 

Requires that new multifamily housing (both rental and for sale) with four or more units be designed and built to contain minimum accessibility features for persons with disabilities.  This includes accessible public and 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.

Requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions to their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities.  The Fair Housing Act further requires landlords to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, and common use spaces. (The landlord is not required to pay for the changes.)   

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Last Modified: Friday, 13-Jul-2007 20:07:07 EDT