Thursday, May 30, 2013

HUD Fair Housing Complaints For 2012

From the Fair Housing Defense blog:

  • HUD is out with its most recent data concerning the number of discrimination complaints filed under our federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). In 2012, HUD investigated 1,817 cases while its partner entities investigated just under 7,000 cases. Those numbers are down a little from 2011 and 2010. When added to the number of complaints investigated by private fair housing groups, however, the total number of fair housing complaints filed is up to over 28,000.
  • For what it is worth, claims alleging discrimination against those with a disability make up the largest percentage of cases (in 2012 over 55%). Race is second at over 25% of the complaints, with national origin coming in third at just under 23% of the cases.
  • [W]hile the federal FHA contains the seven familiar protected classes, you need to know that:

    21 states (plus DC) include sexual orientation as an additional protected class: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

    12 states (again plus DC) include source of income as a protected class in their fair housing laws: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

    What does all this mean? HUD and its partner entities are out there looking to file discrimination complaints. You must know the laws where you operate properties. And remember there are also city and county anti-discrimination laws that you must follow.(1)
Source: Just How Many Fair Housing Complaints Were Filed in 2012 The Number Will Surprise You.

(1) For example, in New York City, the city's Human Rights Law enumerates 12 protected classes and three additional protections (based on one's lawful occupation, family status, and lawful source of income) against whom discrimination in the sale, rental or lease of a housing accommodation or in the provision of services and facilities is prohibited. See Protected Classes Under The NYC Human Rights Law.

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