Fair Housing is the right for everyone to have access to all housing opportunities without discrimination based on:
- National origin
- Familial status
The New Mexico Human Rights Act also prohibits discrimination based on:
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Spousal affiliation
How Can I Recognize Housing Discrimination?
The most common housing discrimination practices are:
- Refusal to deal: Refusing to sell, rent, lease, exchange or negotiate for a dwelling for discriminatory reasons.
- Different terms/conditions: Discriminating in rental amounts, security deposits, enforcement of rules or other terms and conditions of rental or sale.
- Misrepresentation: Representing that an available dwelling is not available for inspection, sale or rental when, in fact, it is.
- Discriminatory presentation: Saying, publishing or displaying a racial, religious, sexual or ethnic preference with respect to the sale or rental of housing.
- Steering: Directing anyone to homes or rental property in a particular area for discriminatory reasons.
- Assigning: Directing anyone to a particular section of the community for discriminatory reasons.
- Unequal financing: Denying a loan or offering different financial terms and conditions for discriminatory reasons.
- Blockbusting: Engaging in panic-selling by representing that the racial composition of a neighborhood is going to change.
- Adults only: Excluding or discriminating against families with children, except under specific guidelines for housing for older persons.
- Disability discrimination: Discriminating against or failing to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
What Types of Housing are Covered?
Under the law, a landlord (owner, manager, broker, realtor or company representative) is responsible for applying fair housing practices in dwellings such as:
- Apartments rented or leased
- Houses sold or rented
- Boarding and rooming house rentals
- Mobile home parks
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
Who Can Help Me If I Feel I was Discriminated Against?
Complaints of Fair Housing Act violations may be filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For more information or to file a complaint, contact:
Office of Program Compliance and Disability Rights
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street, S.W. , Room 5242
Washington, D.C. 20410
(800) 669-9777 (voice)
(800) 927-9275 (TTY)
Where Can I Get More Information?
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) administers and enforces federal laws and establishes policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice. Learn more about FHEO, or contact the Housing Discrimination Hotline by email, or at 1-800-669-9777 (Voice) | 1-800-927-9275 (TTY).
Disability.gov connects the disability community to information and opportunities. You can access housing related information in New Mexico at https://www.disability.gov
Please do not call MFA’s Fair Housing Officer regarding any landlord/tenant law matters. Landlord/Tenant law matters concern issues such as repairs, security deposits, noise from neighbors, landlord’s right of entry into a tenant’s unit, and other matters covered under the lease agreement or New Mexico’s Owner-Resident Relations Act, Section 47-8-1 NMSA 1978 et seq., but do not involve discrimination against a tenant based on the tenant’s race, religion, national origin, sex, color, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or spousal affiliation.
If you have a landlord/tenant-law related problem and need legal advice, please contact New Mexico Legal Aid at 1-866-416-1922. You may also learn about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant by accessing and reviewing the New Mexico Owner-Resident Relations Act through the following link: http://public.nmcompcomm.us/nmpublic/gateway.dll/?f=templates&fn=default.htm.
Once you arrive at the New Mexico Compilation Commission page, select “Search New Mexico Statutes” in the box on the right of the screen labeled “Targeted search in a specific database.” You will then see a page with the heading “Targeted Search - New Mexico Statutes (Unannotated).” Under the heading “Search these terms,” key in the words “Owner Resident Relations Act,” and in the box below entitled “Search Specific Chapter,” select chapter “47 Property Law,” then select “OK” to initiate the search.
The Owner-Resident Relations Act starts with Section 47-8-1 and ends at Section 47-8-52, and its provisions cover all issues common to a tenancy. It is a good idea to print out and review all of it as it provides helpful information about tenants’ rights and remedies of which you might not be aware.
MFA's Fair Housing Officer
To contact MFA's Fair Housing officer, click here.