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Protected Classes

The goal of the Fair Housing Act is to eliminate discrimination in any housing-related activity. Every person has the right to buy or rent a dwelling or to obtain financing or a mortgage free of discrimination based on a protected class. The original Fair Housing Act is often referred to as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. It was extensively amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988. Today, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap. Other federal civil rights laws and state and local human rights laws may provide additional protection against housing discrimination in residential real estate transactions.

The purpose of the Fair Housing Act was stated by Congress to be:

“It is the policy of the United States to provide, within constitutional limitations, for fair housing throughout the U.S.” Sec. 801. [42 U.S.C. § 3601] Declaration of Policy

Although the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and handicap, only familial status and handicap are defined specifically in the statute. T

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