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Fair Housing Information for Disaster Survivors

The aftermath of a disaster can be a time of loss and transition for individuals and communities.  Housing discrimination is always illegal.  Know your rights and respect the rights of others.  If you have questions, contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 and for the hearing impaired, please call TTY (800) 927-9275.

THE FAIR HOUSING ACT
The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related services based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.  The Fair Housing Act ensures that all persons receive equal housing opportunity.

What Housing Is Covered?
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing.  In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

What Is Prohibited?
In the sale and rental of housing, no one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • 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
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting)
  • 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, no one may take any of the following actions on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability:
    • 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; or
    • Set different terms or 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 on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. The prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.

Welcome to the Harris County Recovery Network Website

In the event of a disaster or other emergency, this is your information hub for the weeks and months after the immediate emergency passes and recovery begins. If the emergency creates the need for shelters, food and water distribution or longer term housing we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. This is NOT the best source of information before and during an emergency.

The Harris County office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management will coordinate with the local news outlets before and during the actual emergency. The Harris County Recovery Network is here to serve you in the in the weeks, months and even years beyond the immediate emergency. Meanwhile, we hope you take the time to review this information from lessons learned after past emergencies.