This is the County of San Diego’s Housing and Urban Development Department’s (HUD) theme for this year, which marks the 46th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. To exercise your right to fair housing, it is important to learn what this entails.
What does “Fair Housing” mean? It means to have equal opportunity and equal access to housing, housing programs, and services. Born out of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, federal law protects you on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, national origin, or familial status. California law offers even more protection on the basis of age, marital status, source of income, sexual orientation, or any arbitrary reasons.
HUD has recently added the protection from discrimination in any federally funded housing programs based on gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
Whether you are buying or renting, getting insurance, or negotiating a loan with the bank, you have a right to be treated fairly and equally to all other home finders. An example of discrimination is when a landlord makes special rules for children such as imposing an early curfew. Another example is if you are disabled and have trouble getting a reasonable accommodation to the property rules or policies that prevents you from fully enjoying the property. Being denied a reasonable accommodation, such as not being allowed to keep a service animal due to a “no pets” rule, is another example of discrimination. But there is hope!
If you believe you or your family have been treated unfairly, help is available! North County Lifeline’s Fair Housing Collaborative is here to help you exercise your rights. The Collaborative consists of North County Lifeline in Vista; Center for Social Advocacy San Diego County in El Cajon; and South Bay Community Services in Chula Vista. The Collaborative represents the County of San Diego unincorporated area and six participating cities including Poway, Lemon Grove, Imperial Beach, Coronado, Solana Beach and Del Mar. Through a contract with the County of San Diego Department of Housing and Community Services, the Collaborative’ s services are free of charge. If you think you may have been a victim of discrimination, please call today for assistance at 760-726-4900 or visit www.nclifeline.org.
Remember, Fair Housing Is Your Right—Use it!