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federal protection

Religion

religious freedom in housing






Religion as a Protected Class

Religious freedom is a civil right in this country. So is it within housing situations and transactions, as well. One religion is not more protected than another; the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects one’s right to practice whatever their faith may be—and, indeed, the right to have no religious faith—within the privacy of one’s home as long as they don’t damage the property or disturb their neighbors. Individuals are also protected from unwelcome religious proselytizing by housing providers.

Certain religious organizations or private clubs may be allowed to give members preference and certain owner-occupied units are exempt; however, these exceptions are extremely narrow. Consultation with an attorney well versed in the FHA as well as state and local fair housing laws is advised before attempting to employ these exceptions. Restricting access to members in no way allows for illegal discriminations based on other protected classes such as race, color, national origin, etc., etc.

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The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and the 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.



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