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Peoria.Rentals Fair Housing page - Red and yellow tulips

What is Fair Housing?

What is Fair Housing?

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and handicap (disability).

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Section 109 of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or religion in programs and activities receiving financial assistance from HUD's Community Development and Block Grant Program.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. HUD enforces Title II when it relates to state and local public housing, housing assistance and housing referrals.

The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 requires that buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with certain federal funds after September 1969 must be accessible to and useable by handicapped persons.

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Fair Housing-Related Presidential Executive Orders:

Executive Order 11063 prohibits discrimination in the sale, leasing, rental, or other disposition of properties and facilities owned or operated by the federal government or provided with federal funds.

Executive Order 11246, as amended, bars discrimination in federal employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Executive Order 12892, as amended, requires federal agencies to affirmatively further fair housing in their programs and activities, and provides that the Secretary of HUD will be responsible for coordinating the effort. The Order also establishes the President's Fair Housing Council, which will be chaired by the Secretary of HUD.

Executive Order 12898 requires that each federal agency conduct its program, policies, and activities that substantially affect human health or the environment in a manner that does not exclude persons based on race, color, or national origin.

Executive Order 13166 eliminates, to the extent possible, limited English proficiency as a barrier to full and meaningful participation by beneficiaries in all federally-assisted and federally conducted programs and activities.

Executive Order 13217 requires federal agencies to evaluate their policies and programs to determine if any can be revised or modified to improve the availability of community-based living arrangements for persons with disabilities.

Guidelines Regarding Advertisements Under Sec. 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act.

From: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C., on the acceptance and investigation of allegations of discrimination under Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act (the Act) involving the publication of real estate advertisements.

Race, color, national origin
Religion
Sex
Handicap
Familial Status
Unacceptable words in Real Estate Advertising
Housing For Older Persons Act of 1995
License Liability

Race, color, national origin
a. Real Estate advertisements should state no discriminatory preference or limitation on account of race, color or national origin;
b. Use of words describing the housing, the current or potential residents or the neighbors or neighborhood in racial or ethnic terms (i.e., white family home, no Irish) will create liability under this section:
1. However, advertisements which are facially neutral will not create liability,
2. Thus, complaints over use of phrases such as "master bedroom", "rare find" or "desirable neighborhood" should not be filed.

Religion
a. Advertisements should not contain an explicit preference, limitation or discrimination on account of religion (i.e., no Jews, Christian home);
b. Advertisements which use the legal name of an entity which contains a religious reference (i.e., Roselawn Catholic Home) or symbol (such as a cross), standing alone, may indicate a religious preference:
1. However, if such an advertisement included a disclaimer (such as the statement "This home does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status"), it will not violate the Act,
2. Advertisements containing description of properties ("apartment complex with chapel") or services ("kosher meals available") do not on their face state a preference for persons likely to make use of those facilities, and are not violations of the Act.

Sex
a.  Advertisements for single family dwellings or separate units in a multi-family dwelling should contain no explicit preference, limitation or discrimination based on sex;
b. Use of the term "master bedroom" does not constitute a violation of either the sex or race discrimination provisions;
c.Terms such as "mother-in-law suite" and "bachelor apartment" are commonly used as physical descriptions of housing units and do not violate the Act.

Handicap
a. Real Estate advertisements should not contain explicit exclusions, limitations or other indications of discrimination based on handicap (i.e., no wheelchairs).
b. Advertisements containing descriptions of properties ("great view", "fourth floor walk-up", "walk-in closets"), services or facilities (jogging trails) or neighborhoods (walk to bus stop) do not violate the Act.
c. Advertisements describing the conduct required of residents ("non-smoking", "sober", etc.) do not violate the Act.
d. Advertisements containing descriptions of accessibility features are lawful ("wheelchair ramp").

Familial Status
a. Advertisements may not state an explicit preference, limitation or discrimination based on familial status;
b. Advertisements may not contain limitations on the number and/or ages of children, nor state a preference for adults, couples or singles;
c. Advertisements describing the properties ("two bedroom", "cozy", "family room"), services and facilities ("no bicycles allowed") or neighborhoods ("quiet streets") are not facially discriminatory and do not violate the Act.

What Everyone should know about Equal Opportunity in Housing

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that an individual will experience in their lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it directly impacts the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved. It is for this reason that the Fair Housing Act and other federal and state laws were enacted to guarantee a right to a national housing market free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin.

Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.

State and Local Laws often provide broader coverage and prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.

The Responsibilities

The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.

As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

As a home seeker, you have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

This includes the right to expect:

Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination;
Equal professional service;
The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices;
No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing;
No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing;
Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities;
Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling; and
To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights.

Unacceptable words in Real Estate Advertising

Prohibited Words: The following list of prohibited words was the product of a negotiated settlement and not a ruling by a court or HUD. Words not appearing on this list could be used to discriminate. Conversely, words appearing on the list will not always violate the law.

When advertising real estate for sale or lease you are not permitted to use the words in the list below, according to Federal Fair Housing Laws: This list is just a guide, and does not list all prohibited words.

  • able-bodied
  • adult building
  • adult living
  • African American
  • Alcoholics
  • American, Asian
  • Asian
  • active or agile
  • AFDC approved
  • black
  • blind
  • bachelor apartment/pad
  • board/membership required
  • Catholic
  • Caucasian
  • Chicano
  • child
  • children
  • children OK
  • Chicano
  • Chinese
  • Christian
  • churches
  • colored
  • couples
  • cripples
  • contemporary lifestyles
  • country club
  • deaf
  • desirable neighborhood/area
  • elderly
  • employed, must be
  • empty-nesters
  • English speaking
  • ethnic neighborhood
  • exclusive
  • executive
  • professional home
  • professional neighborhood
  • family neighborhood
  • fat
  • first-time home buyers
  • foreigners
  • golden agers
  • gays
  • gentleman's farm
  • handicapped
  • Hispanic
  • handyman's special
  • healthy only
  • heterosexual
  • his and hers
  • homosexual
  • immigrants
  • Independent Living
  • Indian
  • integrated
  • interracial
  • Irish
  • Ideal for...
  • Jewish
  • Job references required
  • Latino
  • living alone
  • lesbian
  • luxurious neighborhood
  • mature
  • married
  • membership required
  • mentally handicapped
  • Mexican-American
  • middle aged
  • mixed community
  • Mormon
  • mosque
  • mother-in-law apartment
  • mother-daughter suite
  • Must be employed
  • newlyweds
  • neighborhood, description
  • number of people preferred
  • older person
  • one child
  • one person
  • Oriental
  • parish, close to
  • parish, name of
  • physically fit
  • play area, no
  • Polish
  • Protestant
  • Puerto Rican
  • perfect for...
  • prefer
  • private community
  • professional
  • prestigious
  • privileged
  • public assistance
  • quality area
  • quiet streets
  • quiet neighborhood
  • rent calculated per person
  • retarded
  • retired persons
  • retirees
  • restrictions
  • retirement community
  • seasonal workers
  • section 8, etc...
  • segregated
  • senior discount
  • senior housing
  • seniors welcome
  • shrine
  • smokers, no smokers
  • SSI
  • synagogues, close to
  • singles
  • secure
  • sleeps
  • special rate
  • secluded neighborhood
  • starter home
  • straights
  • temple
  • traditional neighborhood
  • US citizen
  • unemployed
  • vacation rental sleeps #
  • white
  • working, must be
  • welfare
  • young
  • youthful

Housing For Older Persons Act of 1995 - Fair Housing Act Amendment

The 1995 amendment to the Federal Fair Housing Act (signed December 28,1995) clarifies which housing projects qualify for "55 and over" status and, therefore, are exempt from provisions of the Fair Housing Act that prohibit discrimination against families with children.

1. The amended law ends the "significant facilities and services" requirement for the "55 and over" class of elderly housing - housing intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 or older. The provision in the old law, which went into effect in 1988,said that "55 and over" housing had to provide "significant facilities and services to meet the physical or social needs of older persons".

2. Requirements:
a. To qualify for the exemption to the prohibitions against familial status discrimination, the complex must:

1. be occupied solely by persons 62 years of age or older;
2.have at least one person 55 or older in 80% of its units;
3. state specifically that the housing is intended for older persons;
4. consistently follow such policies.

3. The change makes it easier for projects with large numbers of elderly residents to meet the "55 and over" requirement, and also makes it easier for them to exclude buyers or renters who have young children.

4. License Liability:
1. The new law is expected to help protect real estate licensees:
a. from being sued in cases in which they, in good faith, act on the written word of a housing association that a project qualified for the "55 and over" exemption to the familial status anti discrimination provisions;
b. by providing licensees with a defense against monetary damages should it later be determined that a facility is not eligible for the exemption.
2. Real Estate Licensees should not be held liable if they:
a. ensure that the facility states in writing that it complies with the requirements of the "55 and over" exemption, and
b. can show that they did not know the facility was not eligible for the exemption.
3. The Act specifically limits the liability of a "person".
a. The Act does not address whether a "person" includes a Real Estate firm, or whether the limitation of liability would extend to a firm;
b. It is unknown what potential liability a Real Estate firm might face, or whether it could be held vicariously liable in connection with its sales associates' and brokers' violations in such situations.

Senior Housing info can be found directly through the HUD website at http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/seniors/index.cfm


From: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C., on the acceptance and investigation of allegations of discrimination under Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act (the Act) involving the publication of real estate advertisements. http://www.hud.gov/consumer/index.cfm

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