DMFHC is committed to promoting housing choice and residential integration through the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act covers all aspects of renting or purchasing a home including insurance, sales transactions and mortgage lending. In regard to mortgage lending, fair lending standards prohibit discrimination in residential real estate-related transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, or disability.
It is particularly important for people to know their fair housing and lending rights in this very tight Denver real estate market. An all too common form of mortgage lending discrimination involves unfair treatment of pregnant applicants as well as those on maternity/parental leave. It is unlawful for lenders to impose additional requirements on these applicants solely based on pregnancy or being on maternity/parental leave. Doing so violates the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition of unequal treatment based on both gender and familial status.
Examples of discriminatory mortgage lending practices that target pregnant applicants and those on maternity/parental leave include:
• Denying a couple a loan solely because one applicant was pregnant or on maternity/parental leave
• Requiring an applicant on maternity/parental leave return to work before being eligible for mortgage lending services
• Refusal to refinance home mortgage loan because one applicant was pregnant or on maternity/parental leave
• Refusing to consider one applicant’s income as part of the mortgage loan application because they were on maternity/parental leave
• Requiring applicants to terminate their maternity/parental leave early in order to be granted a mortgage loan
If you or someone you know has encountered barriers to fair lending that may be related to pregnancy or being on maternity/parental leave, please contact DMFHC at 720-279-4291.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message. Through raising awareness about different forms of housing discrimination we can move closer to our goal of building truly inclusive neighborhoods. Please pass along this Maternity/Parental Leave PSA to your network and help us post in our communities.
The Denver Metro Fair Housing Center Team
3280 Downing Street, Suite B
Denver, CO 80205
The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.