The 7 Protected Classes Under the Fair Housing Act

Many Americans are aware of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, its history and its impact on everydaylife. However, few are familiar with Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, which protects people from discriminatory treatment when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. Unfortunately, many housing providers are also unaware of how to apply the Fair Housing Act and they unknowingly discriminate against their own tenants, applicants, and others seeking housing.

To begin, there are seven federally “protected classes” under the Fair Housing Act:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Handicap
  • Familial Status
  • National Origin

Simply put, a protected class is a characteristic of a person which cannot be targeted for discrimination. A group of people who share such an identified characteristic is collectively known as a "protected class." A consumer who believes they were subjected to housing discrimination must show there is some logical connection between the alleged discriminatory act and their protected class.

Fair Housing Advocates, Inc., hosts several live fair housing educational webinars every month. For more information, or to reserve a spot at one of our webinars, contact us at

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