April is fair housing month. Equal rights for fair housing have always been a hot button issue. Over the last few years, the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual) community has become the focus.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Notice anything missing? The fair housing act does NOT protect homosexuals or transgender individuals from discrimination. Does that mean it is LEGAL to discriminate against the LGBT community? Maybe...
Federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of homes based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Steering is one of the biggest issues that affects fair housing.
Steering is when a Realtor guides a home buyer toward or away from a particular neighborhood based on race. The problem is sometimes this happens subconsciously and not on purpose. People can be discriminatory without even realizing it. In order to battle this problem, Realtors regularly take fair housing education so it is always on the forefront of our minds.
Realtors cannot legally comment on the safety of a neighborhood or about the racial composition of a neighborhood. We can suggests resources such as the US Census Bureau, and other sources of information for people and crime data, but we cannot be that resource because everyone has different perceptions and biases.
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