Fair Housing Program in the Mobile and Baldwin County Areas
For many individuals, purchasing a home is one of the most significant events of their life. Unfortunately, some people face discrimination that discourages them from buying a house. The Fair Housing Act is a federal program that seeks to counter these prejudicial practices and something that Baldwin REALTORS® supports fully. Discover how this program impacts buyers and sellers across Alabama’s Eastern Shore.
Understanding Fair Housing Laws
Several federal provisions ban people from making biased decisions when selling property. Recognizing these regulations can help you seek assistance if exposed to discriminatory practices. The following laws help ensure all people have greater access to housing:
- Civil Rights Act of 1866: This law forbids people from discriminating against racial groups when selling or renting property.
- Fair Housing Act: This national policy prohibits unjust behavior that makes housing unavailable to people based on color, familial status, handicap, national origin, race, religion, or sex.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (Title III): This law bans discrimination against people with disabilities in commercial facilities and locations of public accommodations.
- Equal Credit Opportunity Act: This act outlaws discrimination during a credit application based on the individual’s age, color, marital status, national origin, sex, race, religion, or whether or not they receive financial assistance from a public program.
Sellers may also be subject to state and local laws that protect groups not covered by federal stipulations. Ensure you recognize these requirements when selling or buying a home.
Responsibilities for Home Sellers and Buyers
As a home seller, you are obligated to extend the offer to any prospective buyer, regardless of their demographics. In other words, you cannot deny that housing is available, target specific groups when advertising the home, or feature discriminatory items in the terms and conditions of the purchase. Furthermore, you cannot ask the agent to restrict the sale of your property to specific buyers, as real estate professionals are also subject to anti-discrimination laws.
Homebuyers reserve the right to find housing without being limited by their race, religion, sex, color, disability, national origin, or familial status. This right ensures you obtain the following services without discrimination:
- A wide selection of houses from different locations and communities
- Access to a REALTOR® or other professional
- Options within your price range
- Terms and conditions for the sale, appraisal, insurance, and financing of the housing
- Reasonable accommodations in rules and methods for individuals with disabilities
- The ability to exercise your fair housing rights if necessary
The REALTOR® Fair Housing Program
REALTORS® are licensed real estate professionals who belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and follow a strict Code of Ethics in all their business efforts. Article 10 of this code serves as the basis for the NAR’s Fair Housing Program. This code states that REALTORS® cannot deny equal service to any person based on color, race, religion, sex, handicap, national origin, familial status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It also expresses that REALTORS® cannot partake in discriminatory agreements or hiring practices. As all REALTORS® pledge to conduct business according to the Code of Ethics, Article 10 serves as a well-defined statement that supports equal housing opportunity.
If you have experienced discrimination during your housing search, file a complaint to Local Boards of REALTORS® for assistance. These groups have the resources necessary to correct proven violations of the Code of Ethics.
You can also call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to report prejudicial behavior. To submit a complaint to this government organization, visit the nearest HUD office or obtain their contact information from the national website.
Find Fair Housing Opportunities with Baldwin REALTORS®
If you are concerned about discriminatory housing practices, turn to Baldwin REALTORS® for assistance. All our members are required to follow a strict code of ethics in their real estate dealings to ensure they honor the Fair Housing Act and provide equal services to people throughout the Mobile and Baldwin County Areas. Contact us today if you have more questions about the Fair Housing Program.