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Fair Housing

Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Sex, Including Sexual Harassment Video

Discrimination in Housing Based Upon Sex, Including Sexual Harassment

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment in housing includes demands for sex or sexual acts in order to buy, rent, or continue renting a home. It also includes other unwelcome sexual conduct that makes it hard to keep living in or feel comfortable in your home. To learn more about sexual harassment in housing, explore the information here.

Fair Housing Resources

Fair Housing Resource Map

What is Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)?

AFFH is a legal requirement that federal agencies and federal grantees further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act. AFFH means taking meaningful actions that address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, including:

  • Replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns
  • Transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity
  • Fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws

HUD states in the Summary of its final 2015 rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that the Fair Housing Act not only prohibits discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD program participants to take significant actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, achieve truly balanced and integrated living patterns, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities.

To learn more about HUD's goals to eliminate segregation and discriminatory practices in programs administered with its funds, read:

AFFH Final Rule
HUD's Fair Housing Planning Guide


2023 - 2024 MSHDA/Fair Housing Training Videos

MSHDA has partnered with the Fair Housing Centers of Michigan to provide testing and trainings designed to benefit all Michiganders. Visit their websites for additional resources!

Home | Fair Housing Center of West Michigan (fhcwm.org)

Housing Discrimination | Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (fairhousingdetroit.org)

Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan | For Inclusive Communities (fhcswm.org)

Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan (fhcmichigan.org)


FAIR HOUSING VIDEOS 

National Fair Housing Alliance – Seven Days Documentary 50th Anniversary (history of the Fair Housing Act) – Video 
America Divided: Norman Lear – Fair Housing Testing Video 
Top 10 Fair Housing Mistakes – Video


FAIR HOUSING BROCHURES

Sexual Harassment is Illegal
Your Guide to Fair Housing (English)
Your Guide to Fair Housing (Spanish)
Fair Housing Act
MSHDA Housing Locator brochure
Michigan Relay Center brochure (2MB)
Fair Housing and Diverse Communities
HUD Fair Housing Brochure


FAIR HOUSING MARKETING

Equal Housing Opportunity logos
HUD Fair Housing poster


FAIR HOUSING LAWS

Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act
Fair Housing and Anti-Discrimination Laws


MSHDA FAIR HOUSING POLICY & GUIDANCE

MSHDA Fair Housing Requirements Log (sample)


FAIR HOUSING PARTNERS

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR)
National Fair Housing Alliance
Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC)
Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)


WHAT IS FAIR HOUSING?

Title VIII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, commonly known as the "Fair Housing Act," prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, purchase, leasing, financing and/or advertising of housing based upon:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including sexual harassment)
  • National origin
  • Familial status
  • Disability

*Familial status protects children under the age of 18 living with parent or guardian and pregnant women.

President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill into law on April 11, 1968 - seven days after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act also prohibits housing discrimination based on age and marital status. Further restrictions may also be imposed by municipalities pursuant to local ordinance.

On March 8, 2023, the Michigan Legislature passed an amendment to the state’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) that explicitly includes protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

In 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court held that discrimination based on sexual orientation qualifies as discrimination because of sex. Rouch World, LLC v Michigan Department of Civil Rights. More specifically, the Rouch court found that one’s sex is necessary to the identification of sexual orientation and therefore discrimination on that basis is discrimination on the basis of sex. The new amendment explicitly codifies the protection afforded by the Rouch decision but goes further to add protection for gender identity and gender expression, which were not addressed by the court’s opinion.

Senate Bill 4 expands protections afforded by Elliot-Larsens Act

Fair housing is not just an important tool for eliminating discrimination; it also helps to strengthen families, communities, businesses, and our overall economy. Fulfillment of the letter and spirit of the law means that every community can be a place of opportunity where people can live in diverse, inclusive, accessible neighborhoods with quality schools, healthy foods, meaningful jobs, health care, green spaces, quality credit, and the other opportunities that frame and affect our lives. (Source: National Fair Housing Alliance)

View more information on your rights under the Fair Housing Act.