Fair Housing

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Avoiding Discrimination Based on Sex in Housing

Avoiding Discrimination Based on Sex in the Provision of Housing     Federal law did not prohibit sex discrimination in housing until 1974, when a non-controversial provision of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 added “sex” as a…

Housing Discrimination Based on Religion

Discrimination Based on Religion   In this third installment in my series on the Fair Housing Act protected categories, I want to review some of the issues relevant to discrimination based on religion.   Religion is one of the characteristics…

HUD Releases Final AFFH Assessment Tool

HUD Releases Final AFFH Assessment Tool   On March 23, 2016, HUD published a Notice in the Federal Register regarding the final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment tool. This tool is for Public Housing Agencies. HUD had already released assessment…

HUD Issues Guidance on Criminal Record Screening

On April 4, 2016, the HUD Office of General Counsel (Helen R. Kanovsky) issued guidance on the relationship of using criminal records as a screening tool for housing decisions to federal fair housing laws. The essence of the guidance is…

Fair Housing Enforcement at LIHTC Properties

Fair Housing Enforcement at LIHTC Properties   A violation of fair housing law is reportable noncompliance for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties. It is reported on Line 11h of IRS Form 8823, along with any other finding of noncompliance…

Discrimination Based on National Origin

This is my second in a series of articles focusing in detail on each of the seven characteristics that are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act. These seven characteristics (also known as “Protected Classes”) are race, color, national origin,…

Discrimination Based on Race

Over the next few months, I intend to do a series of articles focusing in detail on each of the seven characteristics that are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act. These seven characteristics (also known as “Protected Classes”) are…

Understanding Vicarious Liability

Understanding “Vicarious Liability” – A Key Element of Harassment Liability Under Fair Housing Law   In October 2015, HUD issued a proposed rule to create a new fair housing regulation that will apply to both private and federally assisted communities.…

Fair Housing Trends – 2015

As we approach the end of the year, it is interesting to look back on 2015 and review the trends in fair housing that affect how we manage our properties. 2015 was an extremely active year from a fair housing…

Local Ordinances and Assistance Animals

Apartment owners and managers are well aware that when required due to the disability of an applicant or a resident, no matter what a property’s policy on pets may be, fair housing law requires that individuals with disabilities be permitted…

HUD Moving Aggressively on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is moving forward aggressively with the departments new “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” campaign to desegregate the country’s primarily white neighborhoods. Rockford, IL will be an early test for HUD’s ability to impose…

Assistance Animals – A Reminder on What is Required

On July 15, 2015, HUD charged the owners and manager of Viking Villas, a 36-unit apartment complex in Sioux Falls, SD, with a violation of the Fair Housing Act for refusing to grant a reasonable accommodation to a disabled resident…

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing – HUD Final Rule

On July 8, 2015, the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued a final rule on the procedures that must be followed by localities with regard to affirmatively furthering fair housing. The rule directs HUD program participants to take…

HUD Guidance on First Amendment Conflict with Fair Housing

HUD Guidance on First Amendment Conflict with Fair Housing   The Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) published Notice FHEA-2015-01 on May 26, 2015. The title of the Notice is Substantive and Procedural Limitations on Filing and Investigating Fair…

Supreme Court Decision on Disparate Impact, June 25, 2015

Supreme Court Rules on Disparate Impact   On June 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling on Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Community Project, Inc. The ruling found that housing policies…

Medical Marijuana as a Reasonable Accommodation

Forest City Residential Management v. Beasley, December 2014.   In one of the first major cases relating to whether the use of medically prescribed marijuana must be permitted as a reasonable accommodation, a Michigan district court has ruled that such…

“Indepent Living” Requirement Discriminatory

As if to put an exclamation point on its’ requirement that the ability to live independently not be a condition of apartment living, HUD has reached a conciliation agreement with Huntington Management, operators of five “independent living” properties known as…

Supreme Court to Hear Disparate Impact Fair Housing Case

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to accept a petition to consider the case Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA) v. Inclusive Communities.   Background Inclusive Communities successfully argued to the lower courts that TDHCA allocated low-income…

Medical Marijuana and Multifamily Housing

Medical Marijuana and Multifamily Housing   An increasing number of states are legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,…

Medical Marijuana Presents Management Challenges

As of April 2014, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and two states – Washington and Colorado – have legalized recreational use of marijuana. This creates a number of issues for owners and managers of…
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