A number of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity regulations apply to the HOME Program. These prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, familial status, and disability in nearly all aspects of HOME-assisted housing transactions, including the sale, rental, or financing of housing. PJs are responsible for ensuring that all housing assisted with HOME funds is made available by PJ staff and their partners on a nondiscriminatory basis.
What are examples of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity violations in HOME-assisted RENTAL housing?
Fair housing laws prohibit PJs and their partners from discriminating against applicants and residents of rental housing due to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, familial status, or disability. The following actions, when predicated upon the protected class status of a tenant or rental housing applicant, constitute unlawful discrimination:
- Refusing to rent a unit. (Exception: denying a unit to a non-elderly applicant when housing is developed exclusively for elderly residents and meets the appropriate provisions for "elderly housing.")
- Imposing varying rents.
- Evicting someone from rental housing, or applying different eviction criteria.
- "Selectively" enforcing lease provisions.
- Delaying maintenance or repairs (or failing to do them altogether).
- Providing rental units of inferior or superior quality. Note: this would not preclude making alterations to a rental unit so as to make the unit handicap-accessible for an applicant with a disability.
- Imposing differing lease provisions, such as security deposits.
- Refusing to provide the required number of units that are handicap-accessible. See the Accessibility - Key Requirements subject area of this topic for more information.
What are examples of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity violations in HOME-assisted OWNERSHIP housing?
Fair housing laws prohibit PJs and their partners from discriminating against potential buyers of ownership housing due to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, familial status, or disability. The following actions, when predicated upon the protected class status of a buyer, constitute unlawful discrimination:
- Steering potential buyers to or from certain neighborhoods (typically because of their racial or ethnic background).
- Excluding certain buyers from certain housing markets (redlining).
- Refusing to provide financing or information about financing to potential buyers
- Denying a sale.
- Providing differing terms of financing to potential buyers, such as different interest rates, points, or fees.
- Using different terms of sale, such as closing or down payment requirements.
- Refusing to purchase, or setting different terms for purchasing, a loan.
What are other examples of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity violations?
Other violations of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity include, but are not limited to the following:
- Threatening, coercing, intimidating or interfering with anyone exercising or assisting others with a fair housing right.
- Limiting or denying someone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.
- Persuading owners to sell or rent housing, based on information or perceptions related to the residency of members of the protected classes, for a profit (blockbusting).
- Falsely stating that a unit is not available for inspection, purchase, or rental.
- Locating newly constructed rental housing developed with HOME funds in neighborhoods with high concentrations of minority or low-income residents, except as part of a neighborhood revitalization plan.
- Advertising or making any statement about housing developed with HOME funds that indicates a limitation or preference based on protected class status. View the Affirmative Marketing subject area of this topic for more information on lawful and required marketing.