The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in housing and/or housing related services based on a person's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. The Fair Housing Act ensures that all persons receive equal housing opportunities.
The City of Dallas Fair Housing Ordinance makes it illegal to discriminate in residential housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. The City of Fair Housing Ordinance applies to rental transactions, trying to rent an apartment or house, to sales transaction, trying to purchase a home, to financing transactions, trying to obtain a mortgage, to in-surance transactions, trying to obtain homeowners or rental insurance and to advertising transactions, how individuals, companies and newspapers advertise about rental vacancies or homes for sale.
Description of Protected Classes (these are examples that are not all inclusive)
- Race -It would be illegal to deny someone a housing opportunity because they are black or white.
- Color - Some people have darker complexions than other. It would be illegal to deny someone a housing opportunity on that basis.
- Religion - A housing provider could not refuse to sell or rent to someone because of their religious beliefs or practices.
- National origin - A housing provider could not refuse to sell or rent to someone because they are perceived to be from another country.
- Sex - Except for shared living spaces it would be illegal to rent to one sex and not the other.
- Familial Status - Familial status means having children who are under eighteen. Unless a facility is a senior/retirement facility one may not refuse to rent to families with children. Senior and retirement facilities for individuals over 55 or 62 may however lawfully refuse to rent to families with children.
In terms of occupancy standards as they relate to families and children, the general guideline is that housing providers' policies, procedures and practices should not negatively impact families with children and discourage their occupancy. Additionally, housing providers should not dictate which bedrooms younger children of different sexes sleep as this is a parental matter. Nor should a housing pro-vider dictate what floor families with children should live on.
- Disability - It would be illegal to deny a housing opportunity to individuals with disabilities. A hous-ing provider could not refuse to allow a reasonable modification requested by a person with a disability; a housing provider could not refuse to make a reasonable accommodation requested for a person with a disability; and it is illegal to charge a pet deposit or deny a service assist animal to assist a disabled person.