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Fair Housing Act

Sec. 800.[42 U.S.C. 3601 note] Short Title

This title may be cited as the "Fair Housing Act".

Sec. 801.[42 U.S.C. 3601] Declaration of Policy

It is the policy of the United States to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the United States.

Sec. 802.[42 U.S.C. 3602] Definitions

As used in this subchapter--

    (a) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

    (b) "Dwelling" means any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.

    (c) "Family" includes a single individual.

    (d) "Person" includes one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, trustees in cases under title 11 [of the United States Code], receivers, and fiduciaries.

    (e) "To rent" includes to lease, to sublease, to let and otherwise to grant for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant.

    (f) "Discriminatory housing practice" means an act that is unlawful under section 804, 805, 806, or 818 of this title.

    (g) "State" means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any of the territories and possessions of the United States.

    (h) "Handicap" means, with respect to a person--

      (1) a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities,

      (2) a record of having such an impairment, or

      (3) being regarded as having such an impairment, but such term does not include current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance (as defined in section102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) ) .

    (i) "Aggrieved person" includes any person who--

      (1) claims to have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice; or

      (2) believes that such person will be injured by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.

    (j) "Complainant" means the person (including the Secretary) who files a complaint under section 810.

    (k) "Familial status" means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with--

      (1) a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or

      (2) the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person.

    The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.

    (l) "Conciliation" means the attempted resolution of issues raised by a complaint, or by the investigation of such complaint, through informal negotiations involving the aggrieved person, the respondent, and the Secretary.

    (m) "Conciliation agreement" means a written agreement setting forth the resolution of the issues in conciliation.

    (n) "Respondent" means--

      (1) the person or other entity accused in a complaint of an unfair housing practice; and

      (2) any other person or entity identified in the course of investigation and notified as required with respect to respondents so identified under section 810(a) .

    (o) "Prevailing party" has the same meaning as such term has in section 722 of the Revised Statutes of the United States(42 U.S.C. 1988) .

[42 U.S.C. 3602 note] Neither the term "individual with handicaps" nor the term "handicap" shall apply to an individual solely because that individual is a transvestite.

Sec. 803.[42 U.S.C. 3603] Effective dates of certain prohibitions

    (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section and section 807 of this title, the prohibitions against discrimination in the sale or rental of housing set forth in section 804 of this title shall apply:

      (1) Upon enactment of this subchapter, to--

        (A) dwellings owned or operated by the Federal Government;

        (B) dwellings provided in whole or in part with the aid of loans, advances, grants, or contributions made by the Federal Government, under agreements entered into after November 20, 1962, unless payment due thereon has been made in full prior to April 11,1968;

        (C) dwellings provided in whole or in part by loans insured, guaranteed, or otherwise secured by the credit of the Federal Government, under agreements entered into after November 20, 1962, unless payment thereon has been made in full prior to April 11, 1968: Provided, That nothing contained in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this subsection shall be applicable to dwellings solely by virtue of the fact that they are subject to mortgages held by an FDIC or FSLIC institution; and

        (D) dwellings provided by the development or the redevelopment of real property purchased, rented, or otherwise obtained from a State or local public agency receiving Federal financial assistance for slum clearance or urban renewal with respect to such real property under loan or grant contracts entered into after November 20, 1962.

      (2) After December 31, 1968, to all dwellings covered by paragraph (1) and to all other dwellings except as exempted by subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) Nothing in section 804 of this title (other than subsection (c) ) shall apply to--

      (1) any single-family house sold or rented by an owner: Provided, That such private individual owner does not own more than three such single-family houses at any onetime: Provided further, That in the case of the sale of any such single-family house by a private individual owner not residing in such house at the time of such sale or who was not the most recent resident of such house prior to such sale, the exemption granted by this subsection shall apply only with respect to one such sale within any twenty-four month period: Provided further, That such bona fide private individual owner does not own any interest in, nor is there owned or reserved on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to or any right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of, more than three such single-family houses at any one time: Provided further, That after December 31, 1969, the sale or rental of any such single-family house shall be excepted from the application of this subchapter only if such house is sold or rented (A) without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of any real estate broker, agent, or salesman, or of such facilities or services of any person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of any employee or agent of any such broker, agent, salesman, or person and (B) without the publication, posting or mailing, after notice, of any advertisement or written notice in violation of section804(c) of this title; but nothing in this proviso shall prohibit the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, and other such professional assistance as necessary to perfect or transfer the title, or

      (2) rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his residence.

    (c) For the purposes of subsection (b) of this section, a person shall be deemed to be in the business of selling or renting dwellings if--

      (1) he has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as principal in three or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein, or

      (2) he has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as agent, other than in the sale of his own personal residence in providing sales or rental facilities or sales or rental services in two or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest therein, or

      (3) he is the owner of any dwelling designed or intended for occupancy by, or occupied by, five or more families.

Sec. 804.[42 U.S.C. 3604] Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other prohibited practices

As made applicable by section 803 of this title and except as exempted by sections 803(b) and 807 of this title, it shall be unlawful--

    (a) To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.

    (b) To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.

    (c) To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

    (d) To represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.

    (e) For profit, to induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

    (f)

      (1) To discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap of--

        (A) that buyer or renter,

        (B) a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or

        (C) any person associated with that buyer or renter.

      (2) To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a handicap of--

        (A) that person; or

        (B) a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented, or made available; or

        (C) any person associated with that person.

      (3) For purposes of this subsection, discrimination includes--

        (A) a refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises, except that, in the case of a rental, the landlord may where it is reasonable to do so condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted.

        (B) a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; or

        (C) in connection with the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after the date that is 30 months after the date of enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of1988, a failure to design and construct those dwelling in such a manner that--

          (i) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

          (ii) all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

          (iii) all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

            (I) an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

            (II) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

            (III) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

            (IV) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

      (4) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for buildings and facilities providing accessibility and usability for physically handicapped people (commonly cited as "ANSI A117.1") suffices to satisfy the requirements of paragraph(3) (C) (iii) .

      (5)

        (A) If a State or unit of general local government has incorporated into its laws the requirements set forth in paragraph (3) (C) , compliance with such laws shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of that paragraph.

        (B) A State or unit of general local government may review and approve newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings for the purpose of making determinations as to whether the design and construction requirements of paragraph (3) (C) are met.

        (C) The Secretary shall encourage, but may not require, States and units of local government to include in their existing procedures for the review and approval of newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings, determinations as to whether the design and construction of such dwellings are consistent with paragraph (3) (C) , and shall provide technical assistance to States and units of local government and other persons to implement the requirements of paragraph (3) (C) .

        (D) Nothing in this title shall be construed to require the Secretary to review or approve the plans, designs or construction of all covered multifamily dwellings, to determine whether the design and construction of such dwellings are consistent with the requirements of paragraph 3(C) .

      (6)

        (A) Nothing in paragraph (5) shall be construed to affect the authority and responsibility of the Secretary of a State or local public agency certified pursuant to section 810(f) (3) of this Act to receive and process complaints or otherwise engage in enforcement activities under this title.

        (B) Determinations by a State or a unit of general local government under paragraphs (5) (A) and(B) shall not be conclusive in enforcement proceedings under this title.

      (7) As used in this subsection, the term "covered multifamily dwellings" means--

        (A) buildings consisting of 4 or more units if such buildings have one or more elevators; and

        (B) ground floor units in other buildings consisting of 4 or more units.

      (8) Nothing in this title shall be construed to invalidate or limit any law of a State or political subdivision of a State, or other jurisdiction in which this title shall be effective, that requires dwellings to be designed and constructed in a manner that affords handicapped persons greater access than is required by this title.

      (9) Nothing in this subsection requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result insubstantial physical damage to the property of others.

Sec. 805.[42 U.S.C. 3605] Discrimination in Residential Real Estate-Related Transactions

    (a) In General.--It shall be unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes engaging in residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

    (b) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "residential real estate-related transaction" means any of the following:

      (1) The making or purchasing of loans or providing other financial assistance--

        (A) for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling; or

        (B) secured by residential real estate.

      (2) The selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real property.

    (c) Appraisal Exemption.--Nothing in this title prohibits a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property to take into consideration factors other than race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status.

Sec. 806.[42 U.S.C. 3606] Discrimination in provision of brokerage services

After December 31, 1968, it shall be unlawful to deny any person access to or membership or participation in any multiple-listing service, real estate brokers' organization or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against him in the terms or conditions of such access, membership, or participation, on account of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Sec. 807.[42 U.S.C. 3607] Religious organization or private club exemption

    (a) Nothing in this subchapter shall prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin. Nor shall anything in this subchapter prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.

    (b)

      (1) Nothing in this title limits the applicability of any reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. Nor does any provision in this title regarding familial status apply with respect to housing for older persons.

      (2) As used in this section "housing for older persons" means housing --

        (A) provided under any State or Federal program that the Secretary determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons (as defined in the State or Federal program) ; or

        (B) intended for, and solely occupied by, persons62 years of age or older; or

        (C) intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55years of age or older, and--

          (i) at least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older;

          (ii) the housing facility or community publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required under this subparagraph; and

          (iii) the housing facility or community complies with rules issued by the Secretary for verification of occupancy, which shall--

            (I) provide for verification by reliable surveys and affidavits; and

            (II) include examples of the types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of compliance with the requirement of clause (ii) . Such surveys and affidavits shall be admissible in administrative and judicial proceedings for the purposes of such verification.

      (3) Housing shall not fail to meet the requirements for housing for older persons by reason of:

        (A) persons residing in such housing as of the date of enactment of this Act who do not meet the age requirements of subsections (2) (B) or (C) : Provided,That new occupants of such housing meet the age requirements of sections (2) (B) or (C) ; or

        (B) unoccupied units: Provided, That such units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of subsections (2) (B) or (C) .

      (4) Nothing in this title prohibits conduct against a person because such person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in section102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) .

      (5)

        (A) A person shall not be held personally liable for monetary damages for a violation of this title if such person reasonably relied, in good faith, on the application of the exemption under this subsection relating to housing for older persons.

        (B) For the purposes of this paragraph, a person may only show good faith reliance on the application of the exemption by showing that--

          (i) such person has no actual knowledge that the facility or community is not, or will not be, eligible for such exemption; and

          (ii) the facility or community has stated formally, in writing, that the facility or community complies with the requirements for such exemption.

Sec. 808.[42 U.S.C. 3608] Administration

    (a) Authority and responsibility

    The authority and responsibility for administering this Act shall be in the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

    (b) Assistant Secretary

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development shall be provided an additional Assistant Secretary.

    (c) Delegation of authority; appointment of administrative law judges; location of conciliation meetings; administrative review

    The Secretary may delegate any of his functions, duties and power to employees of the Department of Housing and Urban Development or to boards of such employees, including functions, duties, and powers with respect to investigating, conciliating, hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting, or otherwise acting as to any work, business, or matter under this subchapter. The person to whom such delegations are made with respect to hearing functions, duties, and powers shall be appointed and shall serve in the Department of Housing and Urban Development in compliance with sections 3105, 3344, 5372, and7521 of title 5 [of the United States Code]. Insofar as possible, conciliation meetings shall be held in the cities or other localities where the discriminatory housing practices allegedly occurred. The Secretary shall by rule prescribe such rights of appeal from the decisions of his administrative law judges to other administrative law judges or to other officers in the Department, to boards of officers or to himself, as shall be appropriate and in accordance with law.

    (d) Cooperation of Secretary and executive departments and agencies in administration of housing and urban development programs and activities to further fair housing purposes

    All executive departments and agencies shall administer their programs and activities relating to housing and urban development (including any Federal agency having regulatory or supervisory authority over financial institutions) in a manner affirmatively to further the purposes of this subchapter and shall cooperate with the Secretary to further such purposes.

    (e) Functions of Secretary

    The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall--

      (1) make studies with respect to the nature and extent of discriminatory housing practices in representative communities, urban, suburban, and rural, throughout the United States;

      (2) publish and disseminate reports, recommendations, and information derived from such studies, including an annual report to the Congress--

        (A) specifying the nature and extent of progress made nationally in eliminating discriminatory housing practices and furthering the purposes of this title, obstacles remaining to achieving equal housing opportunity, and recommendations for further legislative or executive action; and

        (B) containing tabulations of the number of instances (and the reasons therefore) in the preceding year in which--

          (i) investigations are not completed as required by section 810(a) (1) (B) ;

          (ii) determinations are not made within the time specified in section 810(g) ; and

          (iii) hearings are not commenced or findings and conclusions are not made as required by section 812(g) ;

      (3) cooperate with and render technical assistance to Federal, State, local, and other public or private agencies, organizations, and institutions which are formulating or carrying on programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices;

      (4) cooperate with and render such technical and other assistance to the Community Relations Service as may be appropriate to further its activities in preventing or eliminating discriminatory housing practices;

      (5) administer the programs and activities relating to housing and urban development in a manner affirmatively to further the policies of this subchapter; and

      (6) annually report to the Congress, and make available to the public, data on the race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, and family characteristics of persons and households who are applicants for, participants in, or beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of, programs administered by the Department to the extent such characteristics are within the coverage of the provisions of law and Executive orders referred to in subsection (f) which apply to such programs (and in order to develop the data to be included and made available to the public under this subsection, the Secretary shall, without regard to any other provision of law, collect such information relating to those characteristics as the Secretary determines to be necessary or appropriate) .

    (f) The provisions of law and Executive orders to which subsection (e) (6) applies are--

      (1) title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

      (2) title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968;

      (3) section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

      (4) the Age Discrimination Act of 1975;

      (5) the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;

      (6) section 1978 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C.1982) ;

      (7) section 8(a) of the Small Business Act;

      (8) section 527 of the National Housing Act;

      (9) section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974;

      (10) section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968;

      (11) Executive Orders 11063, 11246, 11625, 12250,12259, and 12432; and

      (12) any other provision of law which the Secretary specifies by publication in the Federal Register for the purpose of this subsection.

Sec. 808a.[42 U.S.C. 3608a] Collection of certain data

    (a) In general

    To assess the extent of compliance with Federal fair housing requirements (including the requirements established under title VI of Public Law 88-352 [42 U.S.C.A. {2000d et seq.] and title VIII of Public Law 90-284 [42 U.S.C.A. {3601 et seq.]) , the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Secretary of Agriculture shall each collect, not less than annually, data on the racial and ethnic characteristics of persons eligible for, assisted, or otherwise benefiting under each community development, housing assistance, and mortgage and loan insurance and guarantee program administered by such Secretary. Such data shall be collected on a building by building basis if the Secretary involved determines such collection to be appropriate.

    (b) Reports to Congress

    The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Secretary of Agriculture shall each include in the annual report of such Secretary to the Congress a summary and evaluation of the data collected by such Secretary under subsection (a) of this section during the preceding year.

Sec. 809.[42 U.S.C. 3609] Education and conciliation; conferences and consultations; reports

Immediately after April 11, 1968, the Secretary shall commence such educational and conciliatory activities as in his judgment will further the purposes of this subchapter. He shall call conferences of persons in the housing industry and other interested parties to acquaint them with the provisions of this subchapter and his suggested means of implementing it, and shall endeavor with their advice to work out programs of voluntary compliance and of enforcement. He may pay per diem, travel, and transportation expenses for persons attending such conferences as provided in section 5703 of Title 5. He shall consult with State and local officials and other interested parties to learn the extent, if any, to which housing discrimination exists in their State or locality, and whether and how State or local enforcement programs might be utilized to combat such discrimination in connection with or in place of, the Secretary's enforcement of this subchapter. The Secretary shall issue reports on such conferences and consultations as he deems appropriate.

Sec. 810.[42 U.S.C. 3610] Administrative Enforcement; Preliminary Matters

    (a) Complaints and Answers. --
      (1)
        (A)

          (i) An aggrieved person may, not later than one year after an alleged discriminatory housing practice has occurred or terminated, file a complaint with the Secretary alleging such discriminatory housing practice. The Secretary, on the Secretary's own initiative, may also file such a complaint.

          (ii) Such complaints shall be in writing and shall contain such information and be in such form as the Secretary requires.

          (iii) The Secretary may also investigate housing practices to determine whether a complaint should be brought under this section.

        (B) Upon the filing of such a complaint--

          (i) the Secretary shall serve notice upon the aggrieved person acknowledging such filing and advising the aggrieved person of the time limits and choice of forums provided under this title;

          (ii) the Secretary shall, not later than 10days after such filing or the identification of an additional respondent under paragraph (2) , serve on the respondent a notice identifying the alleged discriminatory housing practice and advising such respondent of the procedural rights and obligations of respondents under this title, together with a copy of the original complaint;

          (iii) each respondent may file, not later than 10 days after receipt of notice from the Secretary, an answer to such complaint; and

          (iv) the Secretary shall make an investigation of the alleged discriminatory housing practice and complete such investigation within 100 days after the filing of the complaint(or, when the Secretary takes further action under subsection (f) (2) with respect to a complaint, within 100 days after the commencement of such further action) , unless it is impracticable to do so.

        (C) If the Secretary is unable to complete the investigation within 100 days after the filing of the complaint (or, when the Secretary takes further action under subsection (f) (2) with respect to a complaint, within 100 days after the commencement of such further action) , the Secretary shall notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

        (D) Complaints and answers shall be under oath or affirmation, and may be reasonably and fairly amended at any time.

      (2)

        (A) A person who is not named as a respondent in a complaint, but who is identified as a respondent in the course of investigation, may be joined as an additional or substitute respondent upon written notice, under paragraph(1) , to such person, from the Secretary.

        (B) Such notice, in addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (1) , shall explain the basis for the Secretary's belief that the person to whom the notice is addressed is properly joined as a respondent.

    (b) Investigative Report and Conciliation. --

      (1) During the period beginning with the filing of such complaint and ending with the filing of a charge or a dismissal by the Secretary, the Secretary shall, to the extent feasible, engage in conciliation with respect to such complaint.
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