David William Jordan

Attorney & Counselor at Law

Who Is Protected From Housing Discrimination?

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Anyone who is engaged in buying or renting a residence in New Hampshire is protected alphabetically from discrimination in housing by reason of:

  1. Age

  2. Color

  3. Familial Status

  4. National origin

  5. Marital status

  6. Mental handicap

  7. Physical handicap, including AIDS or HIV infection

  8. Race

  9. Religion

  10. Sex

However, sometimes discrimination can serve a good purpose. For example, although the Fair Housing Act (FHAct) protects all citizens from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap or familial status (families with children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), there is an exemption for "Senior Housing."

Although the FHAct was amended in 1988 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and familial status, Congress intended to preserve housing specifically designed to meet the needs of older persons. Such housing that meets the FHAct definition of "housing for older persons" is exempt from the law's familial status requirements, provided that:

  1. HUD has determined that the dwelling is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a Federal, State or local government program; or

  2. It is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older; or

  3. It houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least eighty percent (80%) of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates intent to house persons who are 55 or older.

Therefore, housing that satisfies the legal definition of senior housing or housing for older persons described above, can legally exclude families with children.

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