Idaho is a beautiful place to live and welcomes many potential residents into its borders. Over the years, the state has made great strides in addressing discrimination with housing and is proud of its fair housing opportunities for anyone wanting to call Idaho home. Through education and outreach programs, Idaho’s fair housing “supports community stability and economic opportunity for all Idahoans.” Although Idaho Housing has always promoted awareness of fair housing, they received a boost in 2020 through a Fair Housing Initiatives Program-Education and Outreach grant.
Fair housing means opportunity and access for everyone including families, independents, seniors, and those with disabilities. It means anyone has the chance to buy a home without harassment or discrimination. It impacts entrepreneurs, taxpayers, property management, and economic resilience. Where you live determines where your children will attend school and social gatherings; it affects access to your work, healthcare options, and recreational activities; and it dictates what physical factors you’ll be exposed to. The Fair Housing Act states: “The State of Idaho’s fair housing laws prohibits discrimination based on Race, Color, Sex, Religion, National Origin, Disability – but not familial status. It applies to any provider with 2 or more properties and is enforced by the Idaho Human Rights Commission.” If someone feels they’ve been discriminated against, a fair housing complaint can be made. Examples of these discriminations include refusal to rent or sell to a person of a protected class, harassment of someone in a protected class, applying different conditions or policies to a person in a protected class, forcing a person to provide information about the extent of a disability, threatening or intimidating someone who’s filed a complaint, or stating that available housing is unavailable. Note that these complaints must be filed within one year of the discrimination.
The Fair Housing Act applies to landowners, condominium owners and developers, contractors, banks and mortgage lenders, homebuilders, homeowners, real estate brokers, housing and rental agents, residential landlords, and advertising media. It describes housing as a “dwelling” that is any building, structure, or portion of a building that is occupied or if there is an intent for the dwelling to be occupied. It also includes the above structures/dwellings if a person is away but intends to return. This can include trailers, vacant land, duplexes, private homes, assisted living or nursing homes, and more. If you have questions or concerns about Fair Housing in Idaho, you can contact he US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 1-800-669-9777. Or reach out to one of our professionals here at InterWest Mortgage for assistance.
Idaho’s Fair Housing Forum’s belief is: “When diverse interest groups work in good faith on common goals, we can do big things.” Their statement shows how interested Idaho is in the health and wealth of the community. Here at InterWest Mortgage, we are committed to our Idahoan community and strive in our work daily to assist our community members in achieving their dreams. Contact us to see how we can help you achieve your dream of home ownership in our beautiful state.