In 2018, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Fair Housing Act which outlawed discrimination in residential transactions. When the FHA was passed, the home search process was very different. Fifty years ago, most people searched for housing by viewing listings in newspapers and other printed publications or perhaps used a realtor. Today, most people use the internet to search for housing. Home sharing, where all or part of a home is rented on a short-term basis, has become very popular since 2008 when Airbnb entered the market. It has become a multimillion-dollar business and proponents see great potential in it to ease housing and income shortages. As home sharing has grown in popularity, racism has reared its ugly head and reports of discrimination against minority guests have become all too frequent. Complaints of housing providers refusing to rent based on the race, sexual orientation, religion, or other protected characteristics of prospective guests have gained widespread attention through social media and threaten to undermine the future of the concept.
Allison K. Bethel,
A New Home for Haters—Online Home Sharing Platforms: A Look at The Applicability of the Fair Housing Act To Home Shares,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol53/iss3/5