Fair Housing Act


Title VIII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, commonly known as the

 "Fair Housing Act," prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, 

purchase, leasing, financing, and/or advertising of housing based upon:

  • Race - A person’s race or the race of persons with whom one associates.
  • Color - A person’s skin color.
  • Religion - A person’s religious beliefs or denominational affiliation.
  • Sex (including sexual harassment) - A person’s sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Harassment or intimidation based on sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, are also prohibited.
  • National origin - The country of one’s birth and/or the nationality of one’s ancestors.
  • Familial status - Familial status protects children under the age of 18 living with a parent or guardian, pregnant women, and families in the process of adoption.
  • Disability - A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • Age (Michigan Law) -A person’s age. Emancipated minors are protected from housing discrimination.  
  • Marital Status (Michigan Law) – A person’s state of being single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed.

*Fair housing is not just an important tool for eliminating discrimination; it also helps to strengthen families, communities, businesses, and our overall economy. Fulfillment of the letter and spirit of the law means that every community can be a place of opportunity where people can live in diverse, inclusive, accessible neighborhoods with quality schools, healthy foods, meaningful jobs, health care, green spaces, quality credit, and the other opportunities that frame and affect our lives. (Source: National Fair Housing Alliance)

It is illegal discrimination to take any of the following actions because of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, familial status, or national origin, age and marital status: 

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Otherwise make housing unavailable
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide a person different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental
  • Make, print or publish any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination
  • Impose different sales prices or rental charges for the sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Use different qualification criteria or applications, or sale or rental standards or procedures, such as income standards, application requirements, application fees, credit analyses, sale or rental approval procedures or other requirements
  • Fail or delay performance of maintenance or repairs
  • Limit privileges, services, or facilities of a dwelling
  • Discourage the purchase or rental of a dwelling
  • Assign a person to a particular building or neighborhood or section of a building or neighborhood
  • For profit, persuade, or try to persuade, homeowners to sell their homes by suggesting that people of a particular protected characteristic are about to move into the neighborhood (blockbusting)
  • Refuse to provide or discriminate in the terms or conditions of homeowner’s insurance because of the race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, familial status, or national origin of the owner and/or occupants of a dwelling
  • Deny access to or membership in any multiple listing service or real estate brokers’ organization
  • Discrimination in appraising properties
  • Refusal to make a mortgage loan based on a protected class

If you feel you are a victim of housing discrimination, contact the Fair Housing Center of Eastern Michigan, and your case will be investigated a no charge. 

Need More Information?

Legal Services of Eastern Michigan
301 E. Genesee Ave.
5th Floor of the Commerce Building
Saginaw, MI 48607

Toll-Free (800) 322-4512
(866) 428-1604


Serves: Arenac, Bay, Clare, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, St. Clair, and Tuscola Counties.