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Fair Housing Law

Federal Law

Housing Discrimination is more than a refusal to rent, sell, or finance housing. Title VIII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1968 is commonly referred to as the Federal Fair Housing Act. This federal law, as amended in 1974 and 1988, protects individual rights to equal housing opportunity without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and/or familial status (the presence of children). The Fair Housing Act covers most housing, including single-family homes, apartments, townhouses, and condominiums. Both privately owned and subsidized housing is covered.

Basic Design and Construction Requirements

In addition to protected classes, the Fair Housing Act requires all multi-family housing built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 to adhere to seven design requirements to ensure basic wheelchair accessibility for ground floor units.

  1. An accessible building entrance on an accessible route
  2. Accessible common and public use areas
  3. Doors usable by a person in a wheelchair
  4. Accessible route into and through the dwelling unit
  5. Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations
  6. Reinforced walls in bathrooms for later installation of grab bars, if needed
  7. Usable kitchens and bathrooms

State Law

In Michigan, housing discrimination is prohibited by the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act. State law includes all federal protections and adds age and marital status, sexual orientation*, and gender identity or expression*.

* while sexual orientation and gender identity or expression are also covered under the fair housing act, Michigan law now specifically adds these protections.

Local Ordinances By County

Some municipalities have local ordinances that provide additional protections. Throughout our service area, this includes:

  • AIDS or HIV status
Ann Arbor
  • Arrest record
  • Educational association
  • Ethnicity
  • Family responsibilities
  • Genetic information
  • HIV status
  • Political beliefs
  • Source of income
  • Veteran status
  • Victim of domestic violence or stalking
  • Height
  • Geographic location
  • Socioeconomic class
  • Weight
East Lansing
  • Legal source of income
  • Student status
  • Use of adaptive devices or aids
  • Criminal Background
  • Source of income
  • Religious or political opinion
  • Union affiliation
  • Ancestry
  • Housing status
  • HIV status
  • Political affiliation or belief
  • Source of income, or the fact that income of a person, or a person residing with that person, is derived in whole or in part from alimony, child support, or public assistance funds
  • Student status
  • Use of adaptive services
  • Veteran status
  • Educational association
  • Felony or misdemeanor conviction (unless there is a direct relationship between the conviction offense and the housing, the job, the opportunity or unless hiring or accepting the person would create an unreasonable risk to property or safety)
  • Immigration status
  • Source of income

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