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Federal Fair Housing Act

According to Federal Law, it is unlawful to intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in their pursuit or enjoyment of rights protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.


This act was amended by the Federal Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988 to make it illegal to discriminate in housing based on these factors:


  • RACE




  • SEX

  • FAMILIAL STATUS (Families with children under the age of 18, or who are expecting a child)

  • HANDICAP / DISABILITY (If you or someone or someone in your house has a disability)





Discrimination based on the reasons listed above is prohibited in the rental, sale, financing, appraisal and insurance of housing. This means more than an outright refusal to deal with you. It means you should not be treated differently in any way for any reasons listed above. If you have any questions regarding your rights under the Fair Housing Act, contact us for further information.



If you are disabled, it is illegal to discriminate…

...In the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling.

...In the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental.

...In the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling.


It is unlawful to…

Make an inquiry to determine if an applicant for a dwelling, or a person intending to reside in the dwelling, or any person associated with that person has a handicap. Unless situation meets one of the exceptions provided for in the law and regulations.

Refuse to permit at the expense of the disabled person, reasonable modifications of the existing premises, if the modifications will allow for full enjoyment of the dwelling. Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a disabled person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common use areas.

All properties built after March 13, 1991, are required to be in compliance with design and construction requirements of the Federal and Texas Fair Housing Acts.


The Many Faces of Housing Discrimination

“We don’t rent to your kind.”


“You’re just not the kind of person we want here.”


“Only five people can rent a three (3) bedroom apartment under our rules.”


“Congratulations on the new baby, but since you’re in a one bedroom you’ll need to move into a two bedroom unit.”


“I’m sorry but we’ll have to charge a pet deposit for your guide dog.”


“We have a separate waiting list for people in wheelchairs.”


“Families with children can only live in the back of the complex.”

The Greater Houston Fair Housing Center (GHFHC) assists person in the Houston metropolitan area who have been discriminated against in housing. If you feel you are a victim of unlawful housing discrimination, the GHFHC will document your complaint and explain your remedies under the fair housing laws. The GHFHC can also assist you in filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division for investigation and potential enforcement.


The GHFHC provides mediation services if a discrimination complaint is the result of a lack of education on the part of the discriminator and can be resolved through education and outreach.



Eligibility:  Must be a resident of the Greater Houston metropolitan area.  (Counties: Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Chambers, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller)


Fees: None


Procedure: Call (713) 641-3247 for an initial phone interview and/or schedule an appointment.

Download PDF Brochure on Fair Housing (English)   (Published by Greater Houston Fair Housing Center) 

Download PDF Brochure on Fair Housing (Spanish)     (Published by Greater Houston Fair Housing Center) 

Download PDF Brochure on Fair Housing (Vietnamese)   (Published by Greater Houston Fair Housing Center)

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