4 laws that protect you from housing-related discrimination

There is a lot of discrimination and segregation when it comes to where people live in Phoenix. There are predominantly white, Hispanic and black neighborhoods. And people are divided by other categories, too.

Many say that this happens naturally, but to others the issue is clear. Problems related to racism often come into play and affect people who try to live in certain areas. Sometimes, people are even denied the ability to rent an apartment or purchase a home just because of the color of their skin, their ethnic identities or for some other reason.

Housing discrimination is unlawful

When landlords and the sellers of real estate discriminate against tenants and would-be home buyers due to racism and other forms of discrimination, it's unlawful. Here are four laws that protect U.S. residents from this insidious form of discrimination:

Federal Fair Housing Act: This act bars discrimination against people on the basis of sex, religion, national origin, color, race, disability status and familial status (relating to children who are living with the parents and legal custodians) when renting, selling and financing homes and residential real estate.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act: This act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities who are applying for public programs, activities and other services. This title protects people with disabilities when they are applying for housing assistance, public housing and housing referrals.

Age Discrimination Act: Programs that distribute federal financial assistance cannot discriminate against individuals on the basis of their ages.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act: This title of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination against people who are seeking financial assistance on the basis of national origin, color and race.

Protect your housing rights in court if necessary

Individuals facing housing-related discrimination -- when seeking to finance, trying to buy or attempting to rent residential property -- will have legal avenues by which they can assert their rights. It's important to never simply "put up" with any kind of discrimination. The only way Phoenix residents can put a stop to this kind of abuse, once and for all, is to fight back in court.

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
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Phoenix, AZ 85016

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