Fair housing refers to free and equal access to residential housing – i.e. housing choice. According to the federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, disability, or familial status in the sale, rental, and/or financing of dwellings. Additionally, New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of marital/ domestic partnership/ civil union status, gender expression/ identity, military service, sexual orientation, familial status and source or lawful income/rent payment. Morris County complies with the federal Fair Housing Act and the Law Against Discrimination. The County is committed to promoting fair housing choice for all persons.
Fair Housing FAQ
What kind of housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act?
Most housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act. In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
What are some examples of housing discrimination?
- Refusing to rent or sell housing
- Falsely denying that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
- Setting different terms, conditions, or privileges for the sale or rental of a dwelling
- Refusing to let disabled persons make reasonable and necessary modifications to a
dwelling or common use area, at the disabled person’s expense
- Refuse to provide information regarding loans
- Refusing to rent to a person who has a service animal because of a “no pets” rule
- Steering persons with one or more children and/or persons who are pregnant away from a housing unit. Even asking how many children a person has can be viewed as discriminatory and so should not be asked.
- Not offering to show a person who is in a wheelchair an apartment that is not on the ground floor if the person did not ask to only see ground floor apartments
- Advertising or making any statement indicating a limitation or preference based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
Fair Housing Links
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination: https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/law.html
Federal Fair Housing Act Link: https://www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-2
Who can I contact if I believe I’ve been discriminated against?
Complaints related to discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status may also be filed directly with the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD).
What information do I need to provide to file a fair housing complaint?
If you suspect that you have been discriminated against with regard to housing, file a complaint as soon as possible because there are time limits on when a complaint can be filed with HUD after an alleged violation.
Try to include the following information, if possible, when filing a complaint:
- Your name and address;
- The name and address of the person(s) or organization your complaint is against;
- The address or other identifying information of the housing or program your complaint is being filed against;
- A brief description of what happened that caused you to file the complaint; and
- The date(s) of the alleged discrimination.
How can I file a fair housing complaint?
Fair housing complaints can be filed with HUD by telephone, online, email and by mail.
1-800-927-9275 for TTY users only