NFHTA Basics of Fair Housing Resources


The Basics of Fair Housing Course ensures that FHIP and FHAP participants have a foundational framework, which they can build upon to carry out their duties in a professional and proficient manner. These resources complement the curriculum delivered in the course.

Learn more about the Basics of Fair Housing Course.



This collection is a part of the NFHTA Resource Library.

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General Background

Fair Housing Laws and Regulations

Fair Housing Act, as Amended (FHA, FHAA), Sections 801-820: (42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619)

The Fair Housing Act (FHA), as amended, sets forth the fair housing policy of the United States. It defines fair housing terminology; details discriminatory housing practices; sets forth the exemptions under the Act; sets out the administrative framework enforcement of the Act and procedures for investigations. The FHA is the basis for all activities to affirmatively further the provisions of the Act.

Date Published: August 2015

Fair Housing Guidance: HUD FHEO Website

The Fair Housing Guidance landing page contains guidance documents from HUD FHEO and joint statements from FHEO and CPD, and HUD and DOJ, Fact Sheets, Policies and Procedures guidance. Information provided on this page provides resources to ensure compliance with fair housing laws, regulations, and policies.

Final Rule, HUD's Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs

Through this final rule, HUD revised its Native American and Native Hawaiian program regulations to ensure all eligible individuals and families, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, have access to these programs.

Date Published: November 2016

HUD’s Implementing Regulations – 24 C.F.R., Part 100 Discriminatory Conduct

This document includes regulations regarding discriminatory housing practices; discrimination in residential real estate-related transactions; discrimination based on disability; housing for older persons; interference, coercion, or intimidation; and quid pro quo/hostile environment harassment.

Date Published: April 2017

HUD’s Implementing Regulations 24 C.F.R. Part 100.7 Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices

This part describes two types of liability of persons relative for discriminatory housing: Direct liability and vicarious liability.

Date Published: September 2016

HUD’s Implementing Regulations – 24 C.F.R., Part 103 Complaint Processing

Part 103 details fair housing how someone who believes that they have discriminated against relative to housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status can report and file a claim. This resource provides additional guidance on complaint processing, referrals, investigative procedures, conciliation, issuances of charge, and prompts judicial action.

Date Published: April 2017

HUD’s Implementing Regulations – 24 C.F.R., Part 115:Certification and Funding of State and Local Agencies

Part 115 details the substantial equivalency certification including the certification procedures, performance assessments, and performance standards for Fair Housing Assistance Programs (FHAP) program participants.

Date Published: April 2017

HUD’s Implementing Regulations – 24 C.F.R., Part 125: Fair Housing Initiatives Program

Part 125 details the role of a Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) including program administration, application requirements, waivers, testers. It also describes the major FHIP funding initiatives, including the Administrative Enforcement Initiatives (AEI), Education Outreach Initiatives (EOI), Private Enforcement Initiatives (PEI), and Fair Housing Organization Initiative (FHOI).

Date Published: April 2017

Implementation of the Disparate Impact Standard, 84 Fed. Reg. 42854

This rule proposes to amend HUD's interpretation of the Fair Housing Act's disparate impact standard to better reflect the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., and to provide clarification regarding the application of the standard to state laws governing the business of insurance.

Date Published: August 2019

Implementation of the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 - Final Regulations

This document addresses questions about the Act’s provisions exempting "senior" housing from the prohibition against familial status discrimination. This includes occupants 55 years of age, marketing to that group, survivorship, under-age adults, etc.

Date Published: May 1999

Occupancy Standards (Keating Memorandum) - 63 Fed. Reg 70982

This statement of policy presents the factors to be considered when evaluating a housing provider’s occupancy policies to determine whether actions under the provider’s policies may constitute discriminatory conduct under the Fair Housing Act on the basis of familial status.

Date Published: December 1998

Technical Knowledge and Skills


HUD Title VIII Handbook, Chapter 4, Complaint Intake, Section-14 (First Amendment) (p. 4-29 to 4-31)

Section 4-14 of the chapter on Complaint Intake will assist intake staff in identifying cases that requires processing under the First Amendment, and the procedures for processing inquiries that may invoice protected speech.

Date Published: May 2005

Section 8, HUD Policy re: Screening for Drug Use, Sex Offender Listing, et al.

This final rule gives Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and assisted housing owners the tools for adopting and implementing fair, effective, and comprehensive policies for screening out programs applicants who engage in illegal drug use or other criminal activity and for evicting or terminating assistance of persons who engage in such activity.

Date Published: May 2021

Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies

This memorandum, issued by President Biden, directs HUD to review the “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice” rule, went into effect on August 7, 2020, and replaced HUD’s 2015 “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” regulation. The memorandum also directs HUD to examine the disparate impact, which makes substantial changes to the requirements for proving certain types of housing discrimination cases.

Date Published: Janurary 2021

Fact Sheet: Biden-‚Ā†Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Build Black Wealth and Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap

This resource outlines the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda to take steps to address racial discrimination in the housing market, including the launch of an Interagency effort to address inequity in home appraisals.

Date Published: June 2021

PAVE Interagency Task Force

The Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Interagency Task Force is a federal initiative to address inequity in home appraisals. The effort examines potential enforcement under fair housing laws, regulatory action, and development of standards and guidance in close partnership with industry and state and local governments, to root out discrimination in the appraisal and homebuying process.

Protected Classes: Federal and Local


Fact Sheet on HUD’s Assistance Animals Notice 2020-1

The notice addresses two common issues related to an assistance animal: 1. clarification of an assistance animal versus a pet; 2. guidance on documenting an individual’s need for an assistance animal in housing.

Date Published: January 2020

HUD Notice FHEO-2020-1, Assessing a Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation

This notice explains certain obligations of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) with respect to animals that individuals with disabilities may request as reasonable accommodations.

Date Published: January 2020

HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on Reasonable Accommodations

This joint statement provides technical assistance regarding the rights and obligations of persons with disabilities and housing providers under the Act relating to reasonable accommodations. This statement addresses 19 key questions that arise in reasonable accommodations cases and provides examples and approaches to resolving these cases.

Date Published: May 2004

HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on Reasonable Modifications

This joint statement provides technical assistance regarding the rights and obligations of persons with disabilities and housing providers relating to reasonable modifications. This statement addresses 19 key questions that arise in reasonable modification cases and provides examples and approaches to resolving these cases.

Date Published: March 2008

First Amendment

The Communication Decency Act 47 U.S.C. §230(c)(1)

This section of the CDA says an “interactive computer service” can’t be treated as the publisher or speaker of third-party content. This protects websites from lawsuits if a user posts something illegal, although there are exceptions for copyright violations, sex work-related material, and violations of federal criminal law.

Date Published: April 2018

National Origin

DOJ Policy Guidance, Enforcement of Title VI National Origin Discrimination

This guidance clarifies the existing Title VI on the prohibition on National Origin discrimination when information is provided only in English to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). The purpose of this document is to set forth general principles for agencies to apply in developing guidelines for services to individuals with LEP.

Date Published: August 2000

Domestic Violence

HUD Memorandum, Assessing Claims of Housing Discrimination Under the VAWA

This memorandum provides guidance to FHEO staff on assessing claims by domestic violence victims under the Fair Housing Act. This memorandum discusses the legal theories and examples of recent cases. It also explains how the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protects some domestic violence victims from eviction, denial of housing, or termination of assistance on the basis of the violence perpetrated by their abusers.

Date Published: February 2011

Land Use

DOJ Statement on the Land Use Provisions of RLUIPA

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), protects individuals and religious assemblies and institutions from discriminatory and unduly burdensome land use regulations.

Date Published: June 2018

HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on Group Homes, Local Land Use

This joint statement focuses on the Fair Housing Act, not on other federal civil rights laws that prohibit state and local governments from adopting or implementing land use and zoning practices that discriminate based on a protected characteristic.

Date Published: August 2015

HUD/DOJ Joint Statement on State and Local Use Laws and Practices

This joint statement provides an overview of the Fair Housing Act’s requirements relating to state and local land use practices and zoning laws, including conduct related to group homes, reasonable accommodations, and the handling of such complaints.

Date Published: November 2016

Sexual Orientation

Equal Access HUD programs Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity, Final Rule

Through this final rule, HUD implements policy to ensure that its core programs are open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

Date Published: February 2012

Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

This Executive Order, signed by President Biden on January 20, 2021, requires all federal agencies to extend existing protections on the basis of sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Date Published: January 2021

Implementation of Executive Order 13988 on the Enforcement of the Fair Housing Act

In light of Executive Order 13988, this memorandum directs actions by HUD FHEO and HUD-funded fair housing partners to enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Date Published: February 2021

NFHTA Forum: LGBTQ+: Fostering Understanding and Strengthening Fair Housing for All

This forum provides information regarding the Bostock decision and impact on fair housing. The forum also provided an overview LGBTQ+ experience and build cultural competencies, resources to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and increase awareness and develop networks for fair housing initiatives and partnerships.

Date Published: April 2021

Criminal Activity

Application of FHA Standards to the Use of Criminal Records

This guidance addresses how the discriminatory effects and disparate treatment methods of proof apply in Fair Housing Act cases in which a housing provider justifies an adverse housing action – such as a refusal to rent or renew a lease – based on an individual’s criminal history.

Date Published: April 2016

PHA and Owners of Federally Assisted Housing the Use of Arrest Records in Housing Decisions

The Notice informs Public Housing Agencies and federally-assisted housing providers that arrest records may not be the basis for denying admission, terminating assistance, or evicting tenants. It reminds PHAs and owners that HUD does not require their adoption of “One Strike” policies and that PHA and owners have an obligation to safeguard the due process rights of applicants and tenants.

Date Published: November 2015