Over forty years ago Congress passed Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 known as “The Fair Housing Act“. This act prohibits discrimination in public and private housing markets that is based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. At that time, the most common type of discrimination in housing was based upon race or color. Today, according to a recent report by HUD, the majority of housing discrimination complaints filed are based on disability discrimination.
Highlights from HUD’s report on the Status of Fair Housing:
- In 2010, there were 10,155 housing discrimination complaints were filed with HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) partners (state and local government agencies designated by HUD to investigate Fair Housing Act complaints in their jurisdictions).
- This total is slightly lower than in 2009, when total complaints reached 10,242.
- Notably, 2010 also marks the fifth consecutive year that housing discrimination grievances exceeded 10,000.
- As in previous years, the highest percentage of these complaints were filed based on disability (48%) followed by race (34%).
- Although the number of complaints based on disability and race used to be quite similar, the gap separating the two has widened every year since 2007.
- Complaints were also filed based on familial status (15%), national origin (12%), sex (11%), religion (3%), color (2%), and retaliation (7%).
- Of those complaints based on national origin, 7 percent were founded on housing discrimination against those with Hispanic or Latino backgrounds.