Most Housing Complaints Disability Related



May 8, 2012

It’s illegal to deny a person housing based upon their disability, but a new report suggests that such discrimination is common coast to coast.

Some 44 percent of housing discrimination complaints last year were based on disability. That’s more than were filed based on race, familial status, sex or any other protected class, according to a report released late last month by the National Fair Housing Alliance.

“It is a travesty that we still see so much discrimination in our country more than 40 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act,” said Shanna Smith, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. “No one profits when potential homebuyers or renters are turned away, not because of their ability to purchase or pay, but because of their national origin, skin color, sex, religion, familial status or because of a disability.”

More than 27,000 housing discrimination complaints were filed across the country last year, nearly half of them based on disability, according to the report.

One reason that there were so many complaints related to disability may be that such discrimination is often more overt.

“Many apartment owners make direct comments refusing to make reasonable accommodations or modifications for people with disabilities so discrimination is easier to detect,” the report indicates.

What’s more, federal and local outreach efforts to assist those with disabilities may also be responsible for an increased number of complaints coming from people with disabilities as opposed to other protected groups, the report said.




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