Editor's Note: Rachel Sutton, a graduating senior at Hampton University, and student in my How to be Single and Happy class, wrote this letter about how the Fair Housing Act can be interpreted by some to be discriminatory against singles; her letter calls to level the playing field.
216 Multi Use Facility
Hampton, VA 23668
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112
To Whom it May Concern:
The Federal Fair Housing Act under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development states that it does not prohibit marital status discrimination. However, fewer than half of the states have laws that prohibit landlords from discriminating on the basis of marital status. Furthermore, in some of these states, courts have interpreted the laws so that unmarried couples do not receive protection from housing discrimination. In other states, courts have broadly interpreted the laws to give unmarried couples protection from housing discrimination.
This is completely unfair due to the fact that landlords can refuse single individuals housing or place unnecessary rules in their lease. In addition, states are interpreting the law so that it does not work in the favor of single individuals, which is a continued issue. Many cities have zoning laws as well, which allow an unlimited number of relatives to live together in a "single family" zone, but prohibits a group of single adults from living in the same area. This could further complicate a single person that is looking for a place to live, due to who is living around them.
The Federal Fair Housing Act completely prohibits marital status discrimination due to the loopholes that many states, and their landlords have found. The document needs to include specifics so that states can not discriminate on their own basis, and so that it will be fairer for people regardless of where they are in the U.S.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.