Fair Housing

Fair Housing and Civil Rights

All federal, state, and local fair housing laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, and disability. In addition, some Texas cities (Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth) extend the protection to include sexual orientation. Generally, it is not against Texas or local law for a private landlord to refuse to participate in the Section 8 program or rent to someone because they have a Section 8 Housing Voucher. However, landlords with affordable housing developed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are prohibited by federal law from discriminating against applicants because they have a Section 8 voucher.

HUD, the Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission, and local fair housing offices in cities enforce fair housing laws, primarily through an administrative process. In addition, a person who believes they have been the victim of discrimination can get a lawyer and file a private lawsuit.

There are many excellent sources of information about fair housing law and how it is enforced. The links below are to several good ones:


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