Fair Housing Basics
Federal and State Legislation
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act - HUD.gov), as amended, covers housing-related activities regardless of whether federal funds are used in the sale, rental, or construction of housing, with some limited exceptions.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap (disability), and familial status (children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18). The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has the responsibility to administer and enforce the provisions of the Fair Housing Act.
Texas also has its own Texas Fair Housing Act (www.twc.state.tx.us), which closely mirrors the Federal Fair Housing Act. The Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division (TWCCRD) enforces the Texas Fair Housing Act. Complainants received by TWCCRD are investigated by TWCCRD and coordinated with HUD.
Please see the Department’s Fair Housing Training Presentation (PDF) for a brief overview of the laws and resources available.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
In addition to the Fair Housing Act, all entities that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or administer HUD-funded programs, have a duty to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH - HUD.gov). HUD defines AFFH as:
- Conducting an analysis to identify impediments to fair housing choice (the AI) within the jurisdiction;
- Taking appropriate actions to overcome the effects of any impediments identified through the analysis; and
- Maintaining records reflecting the analysis and actions taken in this regard.
As part of TDHCA’s AFFH efforts, all awardees must have affirmative marketing procedures (HUD.gov) to attract potential consumers or residents regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status, and that are primarily targeted to tenants and homebuyers who are least likely to apply for the housing. Awardees must also maintain waiting lists in a non-discriminatory manner.
TDHCA is fully committed to ensuring that our programs follow the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and operate to further fair housing choice. TDHCA’s awardees are required to develop Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plans and are strongly encouraged attend fair housing training.