Fair Housing Month may not be until April, but it’s never too early to brush up as a real estate agent on the Fair Housing protected classes, nationally and for your state. Why is this important? As you know as a real estate agent, the information you divulge and the actions that you take cannot in any way discriminate against any person based on one of the protected classes.
We put together the protected classes in all 50 states to make sure that you kick your year off to a great legal start. But first, let’s start with the seven protected classes recognized on the federal level.
Fair Housing Act – National Level
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) seeks to “eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities by leading the nation in the enforcement, administration, development, and public understanding of
federal fair housing policies and laws.”
The FHEO protects people from discrimination based on seven classes:
Race Color Religion Sex National origin Disability (mental or physical) Familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18) States with the Same Protected Classes as Federal Law
Of the 50 states and Washington DC, those below protect that same classes as the Federal Fair Housing Act. We’ve also included the authority that provides the most information on local fair housing laws in each state.
States with Additional Protected Classes
The other states, including the District of Columbia, include protected classes in addition to those covered by the Fair Housing Act. Some states have
Alaska – Fair Housing Enforcement Project Marital status, changes in marital status California – California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, source of income Colorado – Colorado Department of Local Affairs Creed, ancestry, sexual orientation (including transgender status), marital status Connecticut – Connecticut Fair Housing Center Gender identity or expression, age, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation or lawful source of income (which means that income from social security, SSI, housing assistance, child support, alimony, public or general assistance should not restrict your housing rights) Delaware – Delaware Housing Coalition Age (18 years old and above), creed, marital status, sexual orientation District of Columbia – DC Office of Human Rights Age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, or place of residence or business of any individual Georgia – Georgia Department of Community Affairs Hawaii – Hawai’i Fair Housing Enforcement Program, Legal Aid Society of Hawai’i Age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, or HIV infection Illinois – Illinois Department of Human Rights Age (40 years of age or older), ancestry, marital status (single, married, widowed, divorced, separated), sexual orientation (actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or gender-related identity), order of protection status (for victims of domestic violence) Indiana – Indiana Civil Rights Commission Iowa – IOWA Civil Rights Commission Creed, gender identity, retaliation, sexual orientation Kansas – Kansas Housing Resources Corporation Kentucky – Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status Maine – Maine Human Rights Commission Sexual orientation, ancestry Maryland – Maryland Commission on Civil Rights Marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity Massachusetts – Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Age, ancestry, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, children, handicap, and receipt of public assistance or housing subsidy Michigan – Michigan Department of Civil Rights Minnesota – Minnesota Department of Human Rights Marital status, public assistance, sexual orientation Missouri – Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Montana – Montana Fair Housing Creed, marital status, age Nevada – Silver State Fair Housing Council Sexual orientation, gender identity or expression New Hampshire – New Hampshire Commission or Human Rights Age, marital status, sexual orientation New Jersey – The State of New Jersey, Department of Law & Public Safety, Division on Civil Rights Creed, gender identity or expression, marital status, civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, ancestry, domestic partner status, or source of lawful income New Mexico – New Mexico Mortgage Financing Authority Ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation New York – Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office Creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status Buffalo, Hamburg, West Seneca, and Nassau County also prohibit source of income discrimination in housing North Dakota – North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights Age, status with respect to marriage or public assistance, age, marital status, and status as a victim of domestic violence in certain circumstances Ohio – Ohio Office of the Attorney General, Division of Civil Rights Ancestry, military status Oklahoma – Metro Fair Housing Council of Oklahoma Oregon – Fair Housing Council of Oregon Marital status, legal sources of income, and sexual orientation / gender identity, order of protection status (for victims of domestic violence) Pennsylvania – Housing Equality of Center of Pennsylvania Age Other local jurisdictions: marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income Rhode Island – Rhode Island Housing – Fair Housing Rhode Island Marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age (18+), or status as a victim of domestic violence Tennessee – Tennessee Fair Housing Council Texas – Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Click on the link above to find local authority websites for specific, additional protected classes Vermont – CVOEO Fair Housing Project Age, marital status, sexual orientation, receipt of public assistance, gender identity, denial of development permitting based on income of prospective residents Virginia – Virginia Fair Housing Office Washington – Fair Housing Center of Washington Marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status West Virginia – West Virginia Fair Housing Action Network Wisconsin – The Fair Housing Council (Wisconsin) Age, marital status, lawful source of income, sexual orientation, order of protection status (for victims of domestic violence and stalking victims) Other local protected classes: Military discharge status, physical appearance, political beliefs, student status, domestic partnership, tenant union association, gender identity, genetic identity, citizenship status (City of Madison only), Section 8 Housing Vouchers, nonreligion, homelessness (City of Madison only) City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County: Gender ddentity or expression, military service, domestic partnership (Milwaukee County only) City of Appleton: Gender identity or expression Wyoming – Wyoming Community Development Authority Last updated January 9, 2017. This post is for informative purposes only based on a compilation of information from various online resources. We are not liable for any actions taken or results as a consequence of the information shared here. Consult your broker for final confirmation on any local and state laws regarding this topic.