Housing Discrimination Still Exists
Despite a wide range of housing opportunities throughout Arizona, the doors of homes, apartments, mobile homes and condominiums are closed to many citizens because of illegal discrimination. Complaints and testing by the Fair Housing Centers in Arizona indicates that discrimination is a common practice, frequently undetected by home seekers who are unlawfully denied access to housing.
The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1968 declared a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. Title VIII of that federal law, as amended by Congress in 1988, prohibits discrimination based upon the race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status (children) of those seeking housing.
In Arizona, State Fair Housing laws are equivalent to federal law. In some communities local ordinances also make it illegal to deny housing based on age, marital status or sexual orientation.
The Fair Housing laws protect the right of each home seeker to equal opportunity in the purchase, sale, rental, leasing, financing, insuring and advertising of housing.
Signs of Housing Discrimination
- Refusing to sell, rent, or show available housing
- Only showing housing in areas of minority concentration
- Harassment or intimidation
- Housing advertisement with discriminatory statements or displaying no minorities in group scenes
- Differing terms for identical dwellings
- Extensive questioning prior to offering or providing information about the availability of housing
- Being told the dwelling is not appropriate for your family
- Terms or availability change between phone contact and visit
- You are not contacted after acceptance of your application
- Dwelling has an available sign but you are told it is not available
- Refusing to make a reasonable accommodation or allow a modification to make the dwelling accessible for a person with a disability
- Refusal to finance the purchase of a home or write property insurance or offering non-standard and unfavorable terms.
If You Believe That You or Someone You Know Has Been Discriminated Against
- Record the experiences. Write down names of individuals, companies, addresses, phone numbers, dates, times and witnesses involved.
- Make notes of conversations or incidents that might indicate discrimination.
- Keep copies of advertising, letters or other relevant information.
- If you know a person of the opposite sex, or different race, etc., who received a different answer than you did, make a note of their name and address.
- Contact a legal aid organization near you.