What You Need to Know About Arkansas’ Fair Housing Act

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Under the Arkansas Fair Housing Act, it’s illegal for a person to be denied housing based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or national origin. 
In 1968, the federal Fair Housing Act was passed to protect renters and homebuyers from discriminatory practices that made it difficult to buy, rent, or finance a home. The act has been amended several times, including in 2021 when sexual orientation and gender were added as protected categories. 
The Fair Housing Act protects individuals in every state—however, each state has its own process to file a complaint for housing discrimination. That’s why home and car insurance super app Jerry is here to help. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about Arkansas’ Fair Housing Act and how it intersects with the federal law. 
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Does Arkansas have a Fair Housing Act?

You bet! A detailed account of Arkansas’ Fair Housing Act can be found in Title 16, Chapter 123, Subchapter 3 of the Arkansas Statutes. 
If you’re interested in buying, renting, or financing a home, it’s a good idea to know your rights in the state of Arkansas. Here are practices that are illegal for landlords, real estate agents, bankers, brokers, and developers per the act:
  • Refusal to rent or sell a dwelling to an individual following a bona fide offer
  • Refusal to negotiate the sale or rental of a dwelling with an individual
  • State that a dwelling is unavailable for inspection, sale, or rental when in fact it is
  • Print or publish advertisements favoring the sale or rental of a dwelling to certain groups over others
  • Refusal to provide a mortgage application
  • Refusal to accommodate those with a disability 
  • Make stipulations on a rental agreement, housing contract, or loan based on who the applicant is
If you feel that any of the above violations have happened to you based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or national origin, you can file a complaint with the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission. 
Note that you must file the complaint no later than one year after the alleged discriminatory act occurred.

Accessibility requirements under the Fair Housing Act

Accessibility requirements for fair housing in Arkansas can be found in section 16-123-314 of the Arkansas Statutes. The following accommodations must be made for any person with a disability who occupies or will occupy a certain premise:
  • Make sure common and public use portions of dwelling are accessible to those with a disability 
  • Design doors to allow passage into and within all premises by someone in a wheelchair
  • Install accessible light switches, electrical outlets and other environmental controls, and reinforcements in bathrooms (such as grab bars)
  • Modify kitchens and bathrooms to be wheelchair accessible and useable 
If your landlord refuses to make reasonable modifications/accommodations to your living space or you believe your home doesn’t meet the above legal accessibility requirements, you can file a complaint with the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission

How to file a fair housing complaint in Arkansas

If you believe you’ve faced housing discrimination based on your race, color, sex, national origin, disability, or religion, you have the right to file a fair housing complaint.
Below we outline how to file a claim with the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, as well as things to keep in mind when navigating this process:
  • Contact the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission no later than one year after the alleged discriminatory practice occurred
  • File a complaint in writing and send it to the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission 
  • Fill out a complaint form and return it to the Commission office
You are able to reasonably amend your complaint at any time. Once you file a complaint, the director of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission will notify you of the following:
  • The complaint has been received
  • Advise you of time limits and choice of forums under section 16-123-317
  • Notify each respondent of the alleged discriminatory housing practice and advise them on obligations required under 16-123-317 
  • Send you and any respondents a copy of the original complaint

State agency vs. local offices

In most cases, reporting discrimination and filing a claim with the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission is the best way to deal with housing discrimination
However, many of Arkansas’ counties and cities have local agencies in place to address instances of discrimination and any ensuing disputes. Below is a list of agencies throughout the Natural State:
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How to save money on home and renters insurance in Arkansas

Whether you’re interested in moving to Little Rock, Fayetteville, or somewhere else in the Natural State, you have the right to fair housing. And once you settle on the perfect place for you and your loved ones, Jerry can help make sure your investment is protected with affordable homeowners insurance.
Rated the #1 insurance app on the app store, Jerry helps car owners and homeowners find great insurance coverage at an affordable rate. In just under a minute, Jerry will provide you quotes from over a dozen of the nation’s top insurance companies on the market today. 
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If you need to report a landlord for unfair housing practices, contact the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission at 1-501-682-3247 (or toll-free at 1-800-340-9108). You can also visit the Fair Housing Commission office in person at 323 Center Street, Suite 1200, Little Rock, AR 72201.

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