April is fair housing month


National Fair Housing Month celebrates the Fair Housing Act passed in April of 1968. The law prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, and gender.

The Act was later amended to include protections for people with disabilities and families with children. In Minnesota, public assistance, disability, familial status, gender identity, and sexual orientation were added. In St. Paul age was added as a category.

I see housing discrimination on the job in various forms. It is the home seller who asks me to sell the house to a family with children or occasionally the seller who doesn’t want to sell to “those” people because his neighbors won’t like it.

Last year I helped out with the deed mapping project. I read real estate deeds and flagged those that contained race-based restrictions. Housing discrimination is baked into our system. Even though the deed restrictions are no longer legal our neighborhoods are segregated.

If you are selling your home and want to be fair look at the term of the offer and choose the offer with the best terms. Treat it as a business decision which is what it should be. Do not choose an offer based on who the buyer or buyers are.

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