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What is Fair Housing?

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On a recent visit to a New Home Subdivision a question arose: “Are there other families like us buying here?”  This was an innocent question from a young couple who have a young child. They were not concerned about race, color, national origin, gender or religion, they just wanted to know if their child would have other children to play with, to grow up with. But, it IS a violation of our Fair Housing Laws for us to ask or answer this question. 

It does not seem “fair,” quite frankly. Does it? I mean, in an established neighborhood, the buyer can drive up and down the streets and see for themselves – they see the bikes in the drives, the swing sets in the back yards. Then they can get on line and do a little research to discover complete demographics. They can call the sheriff’s office to find out criminal stats. (We are, after all, a society with Way Too Much Information at our fingertips.) But in a new home subdivision, unless it is labeled a “senior/over 55 community” there is no such information unless it can be obtained from the sales representative. And it can’t, due to our Fair Housing laws.

 As a person who has no personal bias toward any protected or non-protected class, it is frustrating to know – in 2013 – there are still people who do, to the extent we can’t even answer a simple question for fear of legal reprisal.

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