Michigan residents may have heard about a lawsuit against Ben Carson and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. The suit was filed because HUD had announced that it would delay implementation of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. It was designed to prevent segregation when looking for housing. New York state recently announced that it was going to take part in the national suit filed by fair housing advocates.

Ben Carson wrote in 2015 that the rule was nothing more than “failed socialism.” Combined with other statements that he has made, there is a belief that he intends to undermine the rule by delaying its implementation. New York City has already announced that it will create its own fair housing rules to ensure that as many people as possible find suitable spaces to rent or buy.

Generally speaking, a landlord or homeowner must allow anyone with the means to acquire a property to have a chance to do so. For example, a landlord can’t tell a person that he or she is unable to rent an apartment because of that person’s gender or national origin. It could also be illegal to deny someone an apartment or other rental because an individual has a disability or a child. Homeowners typically cannot refuse to sell their home to a disabled person or because a buyer is of a certain race.

Individuals who believe that they have been denied the ability to rent or buy property may wish to consult with an attorney to determine if their rights have been violated. Evidence that may be used in a case could include text messages received from a landlord or statements made by a homeowner. If successful, a person may be entitled to compensation.