J.D. Villareal 
2018 GMAR President 
April 24, 2018 
Presidents Column 
Greater McAllen Association of REALTORS®

What you should know about fair housing

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson—your fellow Texan—signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which among other things, prohibits discrimination in housing. The Fair Housing Act protects you and everyone else from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. This list is known as the seven protected classes.

How the Fair Housing Act benefits you

Sellers and landlords can’t discriminate in the sale or rental of property on the basis of someone’s race, color, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. They also can’t tell their real estate agents or property managers to limit property availability based on the same seven classes, establish terms or conditions in purchasing or rental that are discriminatory, or advertise that a property is available only to people of a certain race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a Fair Housing Act violation, report it to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 800-669-9777 or hud.gov/fairhousing.

There are local laws, too

Local laws can expand upon the seven classes covered by federal law. For example, some cities prohibit discrimination based on factors such as veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, student status, and age.

Texas Realtors pledge to do more

Texas Realtors abide by the Code of Ethics, which outlines their duties to provide consumers with high-quality service and treat everyone fairly. The Code of Ethics mirrors the Fair Housing Act in that that Realtors can’t deny equal professional services to anyone because of their race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. But, the Code of Ethics adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list, which means Realtors pledge to go beyond what the law requires.

Texas Realtors are proud to fulfill the promise of the Fair Housing Act and help all Texans find property. If you would like to learn more about how a Texas Realtor can help you, visit texasrealestate.com.


JD Villarreal 

2018 GMAR President