Fair Housing Information
- Familial status
- National origin
- Falsely denying that housing is available for inspection/sale/rental
- Refusal to negotiate for housing
- Refusal to rent or sell housing
- Setting different terms, conditions, or privileges for the sale or rental of a dwelling
In addition, it is illegal for anyone to:
- Threaten, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others exercising a fair housing right.
- Advertise or make any public statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or familial status or disability. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single family and owner occupied housing.
- Discriminate in appraising property
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Refuse to purchase a loan
- Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan
Expanding Opportunities, Expanding Choice
- Do you know your rights under the Fair Housing Act (HUD.gov)?
- Do you believe someone has discriminated against you under the Fair Housing Act?
- If a consumer, do you know how to file a Fair Housing complaint?
- If a housing professional, do you know how to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act?
Fair Housing BasicsThe general public, including buyers/renters, elected officials, housing developers, mortgage brokers, and leasing/loaning agents will benefit from a greater understanding of the Federal and Texas Fair Housing Acts and their impact on daily activities. We have gathered several fair housing resources on this page to help answer many of your fair housing questions.
Federal & State LegislationTitle VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act - HUD.gov), as amended, covers housing-related activities regardless of whether federal funds are used in the sale, rental, or construction of housing, with some limited exceptions.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap (disability), and familial status (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). The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has the responsibility to administer and enforce the provisions of the Fair Housing Act.
Texas also has its own Texas Fair Housing Act which closely mirrors the Federal Fair Housing Act. The Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division (TWCCRD) enforces the Texas Fair Housing Act. Complainants received by TWCCRD are investigated by TWCCRD and coordinated with HUD.
Please see the Department’s Fair Housing Training Presentation for a brief overview of the laws and resources available.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
In addition to the Fair Housing Act, all entities that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or administer HUD-funded programs, have a duty to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. HUD defines AFFH as:
- Conducting an analysis to identify impediments to fair housing choice (the AI) within the jurisdiction;
- Taking appropriate actions to overcome the effects of any impediments identified through the analysis; and
- Maintaining records reflecting the analysis and actions taken in this regard.
City of Temple CommitmentThe City of Temple is fully committed to ensuring that our programs follow the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and operate to further fair housing choice.
Buyers & RentersBuyers and renters should know their rights under the Fair Housing Act, know how to identify practices that may be discriminatory, and know where to turn for guidance or help with suspected fair housing violations. Having an understanding of the Fair Housing Act can help give Texans the freedom they need to make choices about where they want to live.
Protected Classes & Illegal DiscriminationBoth the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Texas Fair Housing Act make it illegal to deny a person housing solely on the basis of:
- National Origin
- Familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18).
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan or rent a home
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
- Discriminate in appraising property
- Falsely deny that housing is available
- Direct an applicant to a specific neighborhood (steering)
- Refuse to make reasonable accommodations or allow reasonable modifications for persons with disabilities
Modifications to a HomeThe idea of fair housing is to equalize housing opportunity. To increase a disabled person’s ability to access a housing unit, the law requires providers to take steps to increase access. For example, the Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when doing so would allow a person with a disability the equal opportunity to use and enjoy their dwelling.
Disability ModificationsThe Fair Housing Act also allows persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications to their home. A reasonable modification is a structural modification that allows persons with disabilities the full enjoyment of their home and related facilities. Reasonable modifications are usually made at the resident's expense. Housing providers that receive federal financial assistance, such as HOME funding, must provide and pay for reasonable accommodations including structural modifications to units or public and common areas if they do not amount to an undue financial and administrative burden. Although Housing Tax Credits are not considered federal financial assistance, HTC properties built after 2001 are also required to comply with this requirement.
Contract AdministratorsThe City of Temple strives to promote sound housing policies; promote leveraging of state and local resources; prevent discrimination; and ensure the stability and continuity of services through a fair, nondiscriminatory and open process.
Developers, Architects, & EngineersDevelopers, architects, and engineers of multifamily properties must understand their obligations, not only related to choice and leasing practices, but also construction design requirements that are necessary to comply with the Fair Housing Act. One of the most costly violations of the Fair Housing Act is related to the development of properties that are not accessible, as required under the Act.
Access Requirements Under Fair Housing LawThe idea of fair housing is to equalize housing opportunity. To increase a disabled person’s ability to access a housing unit, the law requires providers to take steps to increase access, such as:
- Accessible building entrance on an accessible route.
- Accessible common and public use areas.
- Accessible route into and through the dwelling unit.
- Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations.
- Reinforced walls for grab bars.
- Usable doors (usable by a person in a wheelchair).
- Usable kitchens and bathrooms.
Fair Housing Choice Disclosure NoticeOwners must provide prospective households (both households taking initial occupancy or relocating) with this Notice no more than 30 and no less than 3 days prior to the effective date of the lease. Failure to comply will result in a finding of noncompliance. 10TAC§10.608(f), effective December 27, 2012. Download the Fair Housing Choice Disclosure Notice from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
Requirements for Private & Federally Assisted HousingAccessibility Requirements for Multifamily HousingBoth privately owned and publicly assisted housing, regardless of whether they are rental or for sale units, must meet the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act when they were built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.
Accessibility Requirements for Federally Assisted Housing
- All Federally assisted new construction housing developments with 5 or more units must design and construct 5% of the dwelling units, or at least 1 unit, whichever is greater, to be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities.
- An additional 2% of the dwelling units, or at least 1 unit, whichever is greater, must be accessible for persons with hearing or visual disabilities.
- These units must be constructed in accordance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) or a standard that is equivalent or stricter.
Section 504 requirements differ slightly from Fair Housing Act accessibility requirements. For example, Section 504 requires 5% of the dwelling units, or at least 1 unit, whichever is greater, to be accessible to persons with mobility disabilities. An additional 2% of the dwelling units, or at least 1 unit, whichever is greater, must be accessible for persons with hearing or visual disabilities. Although Housing Tax Credits are not considered federal financial assistance, TDHCA requires HTC properties to comply with Section 504 through Land Use Restriction Agreements.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs, services, and activities undertaken by public entities, and requires that requires public and common use areas to be accessible. This includes housing that is provided or made available by a public entity. For example, housing covered by Title II of the ADA includes public housing authorities that meet the ADA definition of "public entity," and housing operated by States or units of local government.
Lenders & Real Estate ProfessionalsLenders, real estate brokers and agents, and management companies and leasing agents, must be mindful of how Fair Housing laws impact their marketing, lending, and leasing decisions.
ViolationsSuspected Fair Housing Act violations can be reported to the Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission has more information available below.
Filing a Housing Discrimination Complaint (Video)
Responding to a Housing Discrimination Complaint (Video)
What is Mediation? (Video)