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Fair Housing

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City Of Arlington Fair Housing Code

“It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City of Arlington to promote, through fair, orderly and lawful procedures, the opportunity for each person to obtain housing without regard to his/her race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status. This policy is grounded upon a recognition of the right of every person to have access to adequate housing of his/her own choice without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status. Further, this policy is based upon a recognition that the denial of such rights through considerations based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City of Arlington and constitutes an unjust denial or deprivation of an inalienable right which is within the power and the proper responsibility of government to prevent.”

(Ordinance No. 06-082)

View the City of Arlington Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice here.

The Federal Fair Housing Act – Basic Facts

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on the following criteria:

Race
Color
Religion
Sex
National Origin
Handicap
Familial Status

Housing discrimination is a national problem that affects millions of people each year. Housing choice plays a crucial role in determining one’s ability to access critical societal and economic opportunities: quality schools, jobs, health care services, recreational facilities, public services, and transportation.

What is Prohibited?

In the Sale and Rental of Housing:
Based on the above criteria, no one may take any of the following actions.
House

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or   service (such as a multiple listing  service)  related to the sale or rental of housing

In Mortgage Lending:
Based on the above criteria, no one may take any of the following actions:

  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan
  • Set different terms of conditions for purchasing a loan

In Addition:

It is illegal for anyone to:

  • Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
  • Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, religion, color, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act

Do You Have A Disability?

If you or someone living with you:

Have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities
Have a record of such a disability
Are regarded as having such a disability
Your landlord may not:

  • Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore the property to its original condition when you move).
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing

Examples:

  • A building with a “no pets” policy must allow a visually impaired tenant to keep a guide dog
  • An apartment complex that offers tenants ample, unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near their apartment if necessary to assure that they can have access to the unit.

Housing Opportunities for Families

Unless a building or community qualifies as housing for older persons, it may not discriminate based on familial status. That is, it may not refuse to rent or sell to families in which one or more children less than 18 years of age live with a parent, a person who has legal custody of the child or children or is the legal custodian, and pregnant women and anyone securing legal custody of a child under 18.

Exemption: Housing for older persons is exempt from the prohibition against familial status discrimination if:

  • It has been determined that it is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a Federal, State or local government program, or
  • It is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older, or
  • It houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates intent to house persons who are 55 or older

What is NOT Discrimination?

  • A landlord refuses to rent a two bedroom apartment to a family of nine. The refusal is legal if the family’s tenancy would violate reasonable occupancy limits.
  • A landlord asks a tenant with a disability to remove a service animal that bit another resident. The law allows landlords to exclude service animals that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  • A person is denied housing because he was evicted from a previous residence. Landlords may consider tenant history as a qualification if they do so with every person who applies.
  • A landlord issues a “Notice to Vacate” when a tenant is just one day late with rent. If the landlord issues this kind of notice to everyone who is similarly late, the action is probably legal.

If You Think Your Rights Have Been Violated

Discrimination is not always obvious, and sometimes what seems to be discrimination may or may not be. Keep in mind; it cannot be determined if discrimination occurred until all the facts are carefully considered. If you believe you have experienced unfair treatment have the following Information ready:

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the person your complaint is against
  • The address or other identification of the housing involved
  • A short description of the alleged violation (the event that caused you to believe your rights were violated)
  • The date(s) of the alleged violation

For Additional Assistance and Information Contact:

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
600 E. Weatherford Street, 2nd floor
Ft. Worth, TX 76102
817-336-3943 or 1-800-955-3959
www.lanwt.org

Dispute Resolution Services of North Texas, Inc.
4304 Airport Freeway
Ft. Worth, TX 76117
817-877-4554
www.drsnorthtexas.org

Texas Tenants’ Union
4228 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75226
214-823-2733
www.txtenants.org

Texas Tenant Advisor
www.texastenant.org

Tarrant County Eviction Court
Tarrant County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2
700 E. Abram Street, Ste 200
Arlington, TX 76010
817-548-3925
817-884-1111 (general information)
http://www.tarrantcounty.com/eJusticePeace/site/default.asp

Texas Workforce Commission
www.twc.state.tx.us/crd/housing_fact.html

If You Live in Arlington and Think Your Rights Have Been Violated, Contact:

City of Arlington , Fair Housing at 817-459-6238, or
Submit your complaint online to: by email at Teresa.Taitt@arlingtontx.gov

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Assistance with issues of housing discrimination can be reported to HUD. If you think your rights have been violated, the Housing Discrimination Complaint Form is available for you to download, complete and return, or complete online and submit at www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/online-complaint.cfm

View HUD’s Fair Housing Complaint process here

You may also write a letter to HUD or call the local HUD Office at:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Fort Worth Regional Office of FHEO
801 Cherry Street, 27th Floor
P.O. Box 2905
Fort Worth, Texas 76113-2905
817-978-5900
1-800-669-9777
TTY 817-978-5595

Assistance Available for Persons with Disabilities:

TTY phone for the hearing impaired: 1-800-927-9275
Interpreters
Tapes and Braille materials
Assistance in reading and completing forms

For further information regarding your rights with regard to housing discrimination, you may go to http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/FHLaws/yourrights.cfm. From this web site, citizens can file a housing discrimination complaint with the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

View HUD’s Fair Housing Brochure Here

Fair Housing Newsletters