Fair Housing Means Access and Accommodation

The June 22, 2021 Fair Housing webinar focused on fair housing considerations for people with disabilities. Several key stakeholders involved in disability rights and advocacy participated in the discussion of fair housing protections in light of the current housing crisis, which impacts people with disabilities and other protected classes much harder that it does the general population.

One question came up in the follow-up discussion:

What is the statute of limitations on filing a fair housing complaint? HUD’s position:

FHEO begins its complaint investigation process shortly after receiving a complaint. You must file your complaint within one year of the last date of the alleged discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. Other civil rights authorities allow for complaints to be filed after one year for good cause, but FHEO recommends filing as soon as possible.

The group agreed that those in the areas of housing and community development would benefit from a more inclusive planning and design process that engages people with disabilities to inform strategies that make communities more livable and affordable to everyone.

Links to session materials and referenced resources:

Why fair housing matters to…

As part of a Fair Housing Innovative Partnership – Education Outreach Initiative (FHIP-EOI) grant, the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) created a series of first-person videos to understand how fair housing impacts all people. The idea was to interview individuals protected by fair housing laws, as well as employers, economists, developers, housing providers, planners and advocates.

These videos are available for sharing via social media, and provide first-hand, unscripted perspectives of real Idahoans and experts in several fields.

Most Americans understand the Fair Housing Act as landmark Civil Rights legislation prohibiting housing discrimination against members of protected classes and requiring reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. Increasingly, research shows overall economic and social benefits made possible through more diverse communities, and economic opportunities created through housing choice—the right to live where we choose and can afford.

Economic opportunity depends on several factors made possible through fair housing choice, including access to essential community resources like employment, education, social services, recreation and transportation. At a very basic level, housing choice lets us build social capital—the network of trusted relationships and connections that can lead to better jobs, child care, and civic engagement.

As several interviewees point out, the social diversity made possible through fair housing is essential to a more diverse and resilient economy. Members of protected classes bring fresh perspective, ideas and energy that can boost productivity and efficiency; they become economic producers and entrepreneurs who create jobs. At the same time, they are consumers helping drive demand for more diverse products and services, which also creates additional employment opportunities. All of this generates economic energy and demand for taxable goods and services.

As author Jim Tankersley (The Riches of This Land: The Untold, True History of America’s Middle Class) sums it up,

…if you could give me one thing to do to supercharge the economy, I would say, end discrimination across the American economy. Discrimination is holding back our economy. It’s holding back our middle class.

Please take a few moments to explore these first-person videos to understand the importance fair housing through a different lens, and help spread the word by sharing them with others.

Spanish-language interviews | En Español

Good Neighbor Guide: Fair Housing Council of Oregon

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon has a Good Neighbor Guide encouraging the support of affordable, stable housing for all community members. NIMBY opposition to density or affordable development can represent de facto discrimination & causes generational harm.
To request printed copies or seek permission to reprint, use their Contact Form

ABA Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law

It is fitting to see the American Bar Association’s Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development publish this collection of articles in time for Fair Housing Month. In part because we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, May 25th of 2020. The video of his killing triggered worldwide protests and a continuing period of acknowledging the treatment of BIPOC populations in law enforcement, corrections, employment, education and housing.

Students of the Fair Housing Act understand


  • The Race Conversation About Housing
  • Disasters Do Discriminate: Black Land Tenure and Disaster Relief Programs
  • Race, Place, and Housing in Los Angeles
  • Building a More Equitable Land Use Regulatory System: Toward a Twenty-First-Century Zoning Enabling Act
  • Excluded and Evicted: The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Access to Housing for Black and Latinx Tenants
  • The Harms of Liminal Housing Tenure: Installment Land Contracts and Tenancies in Common
  • Race and Housing: The Great Betrayal Revisited and Repaired.
  • Two Proven Approaches and a New Proposal for Low-Income Homeownership
  •  “Don’t Blame Stokely Carmichael”: The Need for Federal Fair Housing Leadership

Read the current Journal entries here.