By Alexandra Mitchell
Many people are unaware of their rights when it comes to fair housing in Hawaiʻi.
As Hawaiʻi residents, we are familiar with the daily challenges of living in one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the world.
Due to the popularity of vacation rentals, affordable housing in Hawaiʻi is becoming increasingly scarce. Most of the once available rental properties have been removed from the rental market to be used as vacation rentals, making it truly difficult for families with children and animal owners to find homes to rent.
If you are being discriminated against when renting, buying or securing financing for housing in Hawaiʻi, you have rights. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 is meant to protect all US residents from being treated unfairly due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (living with children, pregnancy, disability, service animals), marital status, ancestry, age, and persons living with diseases and infections.
Regarding renting and selling property, US fair housing rights prohibit the refusal to rent, sell or negotiate; or to make housing unavailable, deny a dwelling, set different terms and conditions without approval, provide different housing and facilities than previously agreed upon, deny home inspections, blockbusting and more.
If you believe that your fair housing rights are being violated, contact the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to file an official complaint by calling (800) 669-9777, or filling out an online form.
For more information about the Fair Housing Act, go online.