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Rocky Mountain Environmental Health Association

Fair Housing Act and MCS

In April 1968, at the urging of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Congress passed the federal Fair Housing Act (codified at 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619, penalties for violation at 42 U.S.C. 3631), Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

The Fair Housing Act is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and 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.

The intent of the Fair Housing Law of 1968 is to protect a buyer/renter of a dwelling from seller/landlord discrimination. Its primary prohibition makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person's inclusion in a protected class. The goal is a unitary housing market in which a person's background (as opposed to financial resources) does not arbitrarily restrict access.

The following protections are available to you if you or someone associated with you have a disability, which is defined as -

The health condition of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is recognized as a disability by HUD. In a 1992 memorandum, it was stated -

"MCS and environmental illness are legitimate and diagnosable medical conditions that meet the statutory definition of disabilities that 'substantially limit a major life activity.'"

The HUD memo went on to say that unlike common allergies, which do not rise to that level, that an MCS reaction "causes us to reach not for a kleenex, but for the telephone to summon an ambulance."

Thus MCS is recognized as a disability that must be accomodated per the Fair Housing Act.

Further information is available on the HUD web site -

Further information is available on the Wikipedia page -

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Revised '9-Jun-2014,11:47:14'