What is fair housing?
When looking to buy or rent a property it is important to know that you are protected under fair housing laws. Fair housing laws are some of the strongest civil rights statutes on the books. Federal and State laws make it illegal to discriminate against people when renting or purchasing a unit based on any of the following:
The law also covers advertising, including making discriminatory statements. Ads which express a preference for, or exclusion of, a particular group of people are illegal. In addition, there is a duty to provide reasonable accommodations to a person with a disability when it is necessary to ensure an equal housing opportunity.
Examples of behavior that MAY be housing discrimination include:
- You call and get an appointment to look at a house, but when you get there, you are told that the house was just sold.
- You are told that the apartment has been rented, but it is listed in the paper again.
- You are told a higher selling price than what was advertised, or than what you heard others being told.
- You are told that they cannot rent to families with children because the house has lead paint.
- You are given terms of rental or sale which are different than those given to other persons.
- You are directed to or away from certain neighborhoods based on race, national origin, religion, or disability.
If you think you have been discriminated against: Contact the Newton Human Rights Commission and File a Complaint. Your claim will be reviewed and investigated, and if appropriate, the Commission will try to resolve it by working directly with both sides.
Funding for the City of Newton's fair housing website provided by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Fair Housing Initiative Program Grant. Contents of the website developed by the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston and the City of Newton.
|Join us at 7:00 p.m. on May 13th, 2013 in the Newton Free Library for a screening of "The New Neighbors" Integrating America's First Suburbs.
Despite federal and state fair housing laws, many suburban towns are still segregated along racial and ethnic lines in much the same manner as urban centers have been for many years. The New Metropolis follows the inspiring story of a diverse group of residents and public officials as they learn what it takes to pursue integration and revitalize their “first” suburban town.
A discussion featuring housing experts with a Newton perspective will follow the screening.
|Click Here for more information on this free event
New guidance released April 30, 2013 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) reinforces the Fair Housing Act requirement that multifamily housing be designed and constructed so that it is accessible to persons with disabilities.
|Click here to read the guidance
Massachusetts Attorney General: Boston area landlord to pay $75,000 and delead units to resolve fair housing lawsuit.
|Click here for the press release
|Educational forum on Financing Affordable Housing and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in Newton held on September 12, 2012.
The program focused on the principal components of creating affordable housing and ensuring fair and equal opportunity to all housing in Newton, two interrelated and vital elements that ensures Newton continues to be a welcoming community for all persons.
|Click here to watch the educational forum
|Over 30 Newton residents, Realtors and rental property
owners attend Attorney General's Office presentation on recent fair housing enforcement efforts in Massachusetts during
Newton's 2012 Fair Housing Month celebration
|Click here to view the PowerPoint Presentation
Click here to watch the announcement aired on NewTV
|Fair Housing posters distributed to over 125 local organizations to assist in educating the public of their fair housing rights
||Click here to view the posters
|Landmark Court Settlement Reached on “Affirmative Duty” in Westchester County, New York Suit
Click here for more information
|The United States Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issue guidance regarding the rights and obligations of persons with disabilities and housing providers under the federal Fair Housing Act relating to
reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications.
|HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on Reasonable Accommodations under the Fair Housing Act
HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on Reasonable Modifications under the Fair Housing Act