Fair Housing Rights for Active Duty Servicemembers & Their Families
Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
How the Fair Housing Act & Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Work Together
- The familial status protections of the FHA apply to persons with children who are under the age of eighteen years old and to expectant mothers.
- Both the Fair Housing Act and the SCRA work to provide extra protections to families in their housing situations.
- Both the Fair Housing Act and the SCRA regulate the conduct of housing providers towards renters and borrowers.
- The Fair Housing Act prohibits unreasonable denials of housing opportunities based solely upon familial status. The SCRA provides additional protection by controlling both foreclosure and eviction proceedings, and fostering positive interactions and resolutions for matters that arise out of housing debt.
Fair Housing Rights for Active Duty Service
Thank you for your service. In Oklahoma, it is estimated that there are more than 22,000 active servicemembers in at least one branch of the Armed Forces. Federal laws provide special protections for persons who are in active duty, as well as their family members, when it pertains to the collection of housing debts and to housing opportunities.
WHEN does the Fair Housing Act Apply?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) applies when you or your family are buying or renting a place to live. This includes Rental/ Sales/ Lending/ Insurance(All Areas Connected with Residential Housing) and Subsidized and Private Housing.
WHAT is Illegal under the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) applies when you or your family are buying or renting a place to live. Under the Act, it is illegal for a person to do any of the following solely because of a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status ora disability:
- Refuse to rent, sell or negotiate for housing.
- Set different terms or conditions for sale or rental of a dwelling.
- Falsely deny that housing is available forinspection, sale, or rental.
- Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service related to the sale or rental of housing.
- Refuse to make a mortgage loan or discriminate in appraising property.
- Refuse to provide information about loans.
- Impose different terms or conditions on a lease, loanor contract for sale.
- Threaten, coerce, intimidate, orinterfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or helping others do the same.
- Advertise or make any statements that suggest a preference for or against a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or a disability.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA):
- Protects active duty servicemembers, their spouses, their dependents and other co-borrowers for debts incurred prior to the servicemember’s entry into active duty.
- Applies to civil obligations, including leases and mortgages loans (FHA, conventional and non-conventional) entered into before the servicemember’s call into active duty.
- Applies to federal, State and local tax obligations, including property taxes.
- Limits a lender’s interest on a mortgage debt to six percent while the servicemember is on active duty and for one year after the term of active duty has ended.
- Gives courts authority to stop proceedings to enforce debt for a period of time or to adjust the debt during the servicemember’s active duty and for one year thereafter.
Questions? Want to talk to a lawyer about a Fair Housing or Servicemembers Civil Relief Act problem?
Call Legal Aid 888-534-5243
More info about Legal Aid here or at our web site http://www.legalaidok.org
The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication.
Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the federal government.