A fair housing market is one in which no consumer is more burdened in making housing choices than any other consumer. Affirmatively furthering fair housing goes beyond uncovering discrimination & developing affordable housing. It must encompass policies that encourage racial and ethnic integration and include accessibility & housing for larger families. Affirmatively furthering fair housing is accomplished through implementing policies, practices, programs, and development that promotes integration.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits the refusal to sell, finance, rent to, or negotiate with any person on the basis of:
- FAMILIAL STATUS (PRESENCE OF MINOR CHILDREN)
- NATIONAL ORIGIN
In Illinois, additional protected classes include:
- SEXUAL ORIENTATION + GENDER IDENTITY
- AGE (40 and above)
- MARITAL STATUS
- ORDER OF PROTECTION STATUS
- MILITARY STATUS
- UNFAVORABLE MILITARY DISCHARGE
Other protected classes exist in local ordinances.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development states that equal access to rental housing and homeownership opportunities is the cornerstone of this nation’s federal housing policy. Housing discrimination is not only illegal; it contradicts in every way the principles of freedom and opportunity for all citizens.
The importance of Fair Housing goes beyond a physical structure. Affirmatively furthering fair housing creates a housing market that is open, inclusive, and fulfills the diverse needs of all community residents. Fair housing reconnects neighborhoods by ensuring access to quality housing, regardless of race, gender, religious views, familial status, or disability. All citizens have the opportunity to live in close proximity to high-achieving schools, employment opportunities, transportation options, banking services, grocery stores and retail, public services, and public space. Local government reaps benefits from promoting integration by lowering costs for social services, improving revenues through strong property values, and providing a desirable community where households and businesses can thrive.
If you think you’ve been discouraged from or denied the housing of your choice, you can contact the Oak Park Regional Housing Center at (708) 848-7150 for information and assistance, or call the HUD Hotline at 1-800-669-9777.