Definitions of Terms Used in Title VIII, the Federal Fair Housing Act

  • Aggrieved Person – Claims to have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice; or believes that such person will be injured by discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur.
  • Blockbusting – For profit, to induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, nationality, disability, familial status, sex or religion.
  • Conciliation – The attempted resolution of issues raised by complaint, or by the investigation of such complaint, through informal negotiations involving the aggrieved person, the respondent, and HUD. (EHOC may try to conciliate a settlement between the parties before the complaint goes to HUD as well.)
  • Difference in treatment – The Fair Housing Act states that if you are treated differently in a housing related transaction because of your membership in a protected class,it could constitute a violation of that law.
  • Disability
    1. a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such persons major life activities,
    2. a record of having such an impairment, or
    3. being regarded as having such an impairment,
    4. but such term does not include current illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance.
  • Disparate Impact – The Fair Housing Act states that if a generally applicable policy (which excludes a single incidence), procedure or act in a housing related transaction has a significantly greater discriminatory impact on members of a protected class, it is a violation of that law. The policy, procedure or act in question must be neither discriminatory on its face nor applied in a discriminatory manner, because these situations would then become acts of intentional discrimination.
  • Dwelling – Any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.
  • Familial status – One or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) living with:
    1. A parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or
    2. The designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission f such parent or other person.
  • The protection afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.
  • Illegal Housing Discrimination – To prevent equal access to housing (in housing sales or rentals, or in housing lending and insurance) on the basis of a persons:
  • At the federal level
  • race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, sex and religion
  • At the state level
  • Missouri: race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, sex, religion and ancestry
  • Illinois: race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, sex, religion, age (40+), ancestry, marital status, military status, unfavorable discharge from military service and sexual orientation
  • At the municipal level
  • City of St. Louis: race, color, national origin, familial status, sex, disability, and religion and sexual orientation, marital status, age, ancestry and source of income.
  • Race – The Fair Housing Act protects people of all races from discrimination, whether African American or Black, European American or White, Asian American or Asian, American Indian or Native American, or of mixed race, and also protects people who are discriminated against because of association with people of a different race.
  • Religion – The Fair Housing Act protects people of any religion, and people of no religion, from discrimination.
  • Sex – The Fair Housing Act protects females and males from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender.
  • Sexual Orientation – Illinois law and the City of St. Louis protects people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual from discrimination.
  • Steering – Directing prospective home buyers interested in equivalent properties to different areas according to their race.