Re: Fair housing laws
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 15:50:15 -0700 (PDT)
Federally it is illegal to discriminate based on religion, but quite legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. There are (a few) states and (a few) local areas that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The federally protected classes include:
Race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap (disability).

Housing of any sort can not be advertised, sold, rented, leased, nor mortgage or other financing services offered that discriminates based on these items.

Localities can add protected classes, but cannot remove any of them.

Individuals who own two or one property and don't sell often (more than 18 months must pass between transactions, I believe) theoretically can discriminate, but they can't use a real estate professional or place ads that discriminate.

I don't know of any co-housing communities that have had any problems, although I certainly flinch when I hear discussions of having quotas as a way to achieve diversity. In my (limited) experience the only way a seller will have a problem is if someone feels discriminated against and choses to take action.

(The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
PastorLiz [at]

On Jul 2, 2007, at 5:27 PM, Marganne wrote:

At 8:33 PM -0400 7/1/07, Elizabeth Magill wrote:
However ... there's nothing magic about the age "50."

 Why not cohousing for adults of all ages?

Federal Fair Housing Laws specify that discrimination based on
"familial status" is illegal throughout the united states.
"Familial status" is the presence of children or the possibility of


Thank you for posting the exact restrictions that exist. I've often
wondered how people accomplished restricting their cohousing project
to any particular belief or characteristic other than age 55. Has
there been problems with projects that were, only for example,
Christian, or Gay and Lesbian, or all men or all women? I've read
that in the process of being considered for membership, these kinds
of things usually reconcile themselves. But, if push came to shove, I
thought the fair housing laws would prevail. Just curious.

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