Fair housing is an important right that applies to housing rentals, purchases, and financings in the United States. Several recent developments related to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) impact the operation, sale, and financing of affordable and market rate housing. Significant among these recent happenings is the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that, in addition to banning overt or intentional discrimination, the FHA prohibits disparate impact—policies, practices, rules, or other systems that, despite the appearance of neutrality, result in a disproportionate impact on protected groups.

To help housing owners and developers and their legal counsel stay current, Amy M. Glassman and Nydia M. Pouyes, attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s nationally acclaimed Real Estate Department and Housing Group, have written the Beginner's Guide to the Fair Housing Act. Published by the American Bar Association (ABA), the new guide provides an overview of the FHA and other housing laws, and discusses recent developments that will impact housing providers in the coming years.

Passed into law by Congress in 1968, the FHA prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, family status (presence of children under the age of 18), or disability. Since that time, a number of other federal, state, and local laws, as well as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rules and regulations, have been established to protect the rights of certain groups to fairly access housing.

Ms. Glassman and Ms. Pouyes represent housing developers and owners nationwide, including public housing authorities, and draw on their firsthand experience to provide timely information, analysis, and guidance.

Ballard Spahr's Housing Group regularly represents and advises clients, including rental property owners, on a range of issues under the FHA and related laws, including Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and defends a variety of fair housing claims.

We invite you to read an overview and excerpt of Beginner’s Guide to the Fair Housing Act on the ABA publications website, where the guide can also be purchased.

Ballard Spahr's Municipal Securities Regulation and Enforcement Group helps municipal market participants navigate a rapidly evolving regulatory, investigative, and enforcement environment, enabling them to anticipate and address compliance issues and respond effectively to investigations when necessary.


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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.