The Fair Housing Act (and amendments) makes it illegal to discriminate in the buying, selling or renting of a home because of a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under the age of 18.
Additional Fair Housing Legislation
In addition to the Fair Housing Act, other laws related to fair housing include the following:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Orientation or Gender Identity
- Tennessee Human Rights Act & Disability Act
Fair Housing Complaints & Enforcement
If you or someone you know feels discriminated against when renting, buying or selling a home due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or a disability, you may file a complaint and receive help from the following state or federal agencies.
- HUD investigates complaints of housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex/gender, disability, or familial status. At no cost to you, HUD will investigate the complaint and try to help both parties reach agreement. Click here for more information on Fair Housing enforcement and for the HUD Discrimination Complaint form
- The Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) accepts fair housing, employment, public accommodations and Title VI complaints for people in Tennessee. To access THRC’s discrimination complaint form, please click here.
- Participants in any of THDA’s programs may choose to submit a complaint regarding discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex/gender, disability, or familial status directly to THDA. For THDA’s complaint process and form, click here. Your complaint may be investigated and answered internally or may be forwarded to the THRC or HUD for investigation and response.
Other Fair Housing Information
The Civil Rights Act of 1968, more popularly known as the “Fair Housing Act,” was intended to be a follow up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, initially, the Act was contentiously debated in Congress. The assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968 changed the political dialogue and served to motivate bi-partisan support and passage of the Act a week later on April 11, 1968.
Click here for a more detailed history of the Fair Housing Act from HUD’s Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Office.
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Association of REALTORS®
Click here for Fair Housing information from the National Association of Realtors®
Click on the image below to watch an episode of Housing Point commemorating the Fair Housing Act.
HUD Housing Timeline
Click on the image below to see the full interactive timeline of HUD’s housing activities from 1930 to 2020.