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Fair Housing Law

Delaware Housing Coalition > Resources > Fair Housing Law

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, is known as the Fair Housing Act. It prohibits discrimination in housing because of:

  • Race or color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18)
  • Disability

The Delaware Fair Housing Act designates protected classes in addition to those covered by the federal act, including:
  • age (18 years old and above)
  • creed
  • marital status
  • sexual orientation

What Housing Is Covered?

The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

What Is Prohibited?

In the Sale and Rental of Housing: No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.

In Mortgage Lending:

No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):

  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan or
  • Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan.

In Addition

It is illegal for anyone to:

  • Threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right
  • Advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap. This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to single-family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.

For More Information

Fair Housing Enforcement Center, US Department of HUD, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3380

  • 215/656-0660
  • 1-888-799-2085

Delaware Division of Human Relations - (877) 54-HUMAN (544-8626) (Toll Free)

  • Wilmington Office - 820 N. French Street, 8th Floor, Wilmington, DE 19801 (302) 577-5050
  • Dover Office - 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Suite 145, Dover, DE 19904 (302) 739-4567
  • Georgetown Office - 546 South Bedford Street, Georgetown, DE 19947 (302) 856-5331

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in Delaware: A Conversation with Michael Allen | April 4, 2013, Georgetown, Delaware