NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – April is National Fair Housing Month, and is a time dedicated to bringing awareness and fighting against housing discrimination.

The Federal Fair Housing Act was enacted in 1968 and made housing discrimination illegal, based on a person’s race, religion, gender identity, or disability.

Virginia’s House Law extends to military status, senior citizens, sexual orientation, and income.

Although there are laws to protect against this issue, it still happens. Data from the National Fair Housing Alliance shows that disability discrimination was the highest reported in 2021.

“African American and Hispanic families are impacted a great deal with these practices,” Director of Economic Mobility and Financial Empowerment at Hampton Roads Community Action Program, Yvette V. Young says. “There are reports of families losing up to a hundred thousand dollars on the value of their home, of the equity that they could have taken advantage of.”

The Hampton Roads Community Action Program in Newport News says it receives one to two housing discrimination reports each month. The organization works with the Human rights commissioners to determine if cases should be investigated.

“One of the dreams that people have for their families is home ownership they wanna own a home. That’s the largest purchase that they’ll make in their lives and they should be able to be on a leveled playing field with everyone else,” Young said.

On April 25, The Hampton Roads Community Action Program is hosting a breakfast to celebrate fair housing month. The event will be at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton.