FAIR HOUSING IS YOUR RIGHT!
Housing discrimination happens in the process of renting, buying, selling or getting a loan for a home. It also includes discrimination that denies someone the use or enjoyment of their home.
Who is protected?
Discrimination in housing is prohibited on the basis of race; color; sex; religion; national origin; marital status; familial status (having children younger than 18); handicap or disability, elderliness (age 55+), sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or source of funds.
It is also illegal to discriminate against someone because he or she has opposed housing discrimination, participated in an investigation, or exercised otherwise exercised a right provided for under Fairfax County’s Fair Housing Act.
What does Housing Discrimination Look Like?
Some examples of housing discrimination are as follows:
- refusing to rent to a family with children under 18
- refusing to rent or sell a home to someone of a particular race, religion or skin color
- targeting a particular group for unfavorable loan terms or deceptive lending practices (predatory lending)
- a landlord refusing accessible parking or otherwise denying access to the housing accommodation of a person with a disability
- housing advertisements that express a preference for people of a certain race, sex or religion
- making references to the composition of the neighborhood in which a property is listed in order to discourage a home purchase
- treating one tenant less favorably than others in the terms of their rental or in repairing or maintaining property because of their race, religion, sex, or other protected characteristic.
- harassment by a landlord based on race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, etc.
Fair Housing & Criminal Record Screening
Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and the Equal Rights Center present this informational video on the intersection of fair housing rights and criminal record screening in rental applications.
Lending and Appraisal Bias
Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and the Equal Rights Center present this informational video on lending and appraisal bias and associated fair housing rights.
New Webinar: Fair Housing: Discrimination Based on Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity were recently added to Virginia’s protected classes and are also now included as Sex Discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. This webinar, presented by the Equal Rights Center and the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights & Equity Programs, will update housing providers and others on these developments and provide best practices to prevent discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
New Webinar: How Racial Bias Restricts Housing, Neighborhood Choice, and Integrated Communities
This webinar, presented by the Equal Rights Center in collaboration with the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights & Equity Programs, discusses how housing discrimination because of race and racial biases restrict housing, neighborhood choice, and integrated communities. Specifically, the webinar addresses topics such as source of funds discrimination, the use of racially-coded language, and best practices for criminal records and credit screening.