Originally published April 9, 2013 at 11:30 a.m., updated April 9, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
Mary Scott Knoll, Executive Director, Fair Housing Council of San Diego
The Fair Housing Act was passed 45 years ago but many San Diegans aren't aware of how it protects against discrimination in housing.
Mary Scott Knoll, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of San Diego tells KPBS, "qualified applicants should have the same opportunities without regard to race, color or religion." Those are just a few of the protections offered by the Fair Housing Act. There are even more laws protecting Californians, including those discriminated against based on sexual orientation.
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Knoll says people are discriminated against in four areas; rental, purchasing a home, mortgage lending and housing insurance. There's also a disturbing trend of who is being targeted. Knoll says a HUD study found the largest rate of discrimination, 19 percent to 25 percent, is against Native Americans, Asians, Hispanic and African Americans. She also points out that "there's a great increase in the number of housing discrimination complaints against disabilities being seen."
The Fair Housing Council of San Diego offers a hotline for residents to call with questions or complaints. Knoll says they get a number of calls but many are for landlord-tenant issues, which they refer to other agencies. Those with questions or concerns can contact the council at (619) 699-5888.