How Much Do We Know?

Research Report

How Much Do We Know?

Public Awareness of the Nation's Fair Housing Laws

Abstract

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 -- which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability in the sale or rental of housing and other real estate-related transactions -- is largely enforced through the filing of complaints by persons who believe they have suffered discrimination. The Act, therefore, presumes a basic awareness on the part of the general public as to what constitutes housing discrimination. This report is based on the first national survey designed to assess the extent and nature of the publics knowledge of fair housing law. It shows that a majority is aware of many, although not all aspects of fair housing law, but that the size of that majority varies from modest to substantial -- depending on which aspect of the law is considered. The report also examines the extent to which the public supports fair housing provisions and perceives having been discriminated against in housing, as well as the responses of those who thought they were victims of discrimination.

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