Over 50 years ago, federal law enshrined a guarantee to fair housing that has grown and developed in the ensuing decades. Today, no one may lawfully deny housing because of a person’s race, color, gender, religion, national origin, familial status or disability. Many state and local laws have expanded this list of protected categories and include protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, lawful source of income and other characteristics.
Unfortunately, despite these laws, rampant housing discrimination persists in our society and requires constant vigilance to ensure that the promises made over 50 years ago are not empty. Handley Farah & Anderson challenges discriminatory housing policies and practices around the country, compelling housing providers to abolish unlawful barriers to housing. Our practice has particularly focused on two forms of discrimination: (1) denial of housing on the basis of the applicant’s race or source of income; and (2) failure to construct housing that is accessible to persons with disabilities. In pursuing these cases, our lawyers often represent both tenants and nonprofit organizations that advocate for tenants.
Denial of Housing Because of Race
Handley Farah & Anderson challenges housing practices and policies that disproportionately impact communities of color. Such unlawful policies include refusing to accept federally subsidized housing vouchers and imposing unnecessarily onerous criminal record screening policies. Lawyers at Handley Farah & Anderson have halted these discriminatory policies around the country and recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
Housing Inaccessible to Disability Community
The Fair Housing Act Amendments require that multi-unit apartment buildings are accessible to the disability community. Unfortunately, many recently constructed apartment complexes are inaccessible to persons with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. These members of the disability community are unable to access such housing because of unnecessary architectural barriers, such as narrow doorways, high thresholds, inaccessible bathrooms and kitchens, and unreachable outlets and fixtures. Lawyers at Handley Farah & Anderson have eliminated these barriers in housing complexes around the country and recovered millions of dollars for our clients.