Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 7, 2009

North Carolina Amends State Fair Housing Act to Prevent Discrimination in Land Use Decisions or the Permitting of Affordable Housing

The North Carolina General Assembly amended the state Fair Housing Act, making it illegal to discriminate in land-use decisions or permitting of developments based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapping condition, familial status, or where the development contains affordable housing for families or individuals below 80% of area median income.  The law provides that it is not a violation if the land use decision or permitting is based on high concentrations of affordable housing or where there was a bona fide legitimate governmental interest.

The law became effective in August 2009.

CH. SL 2009-533

The new law and its legislative history can be accessed here


  1. The wording is somewhat confusing to me. Does the law now mean that race, color, religion, etc. CAN BE used as factors in land use decisions where there are already high concentrations of affordable housing. Also what constitutes a legitimate government interest — where is this defined in the law? I live in Durham and our community has a keen interest in land use and zoning issues that unduly impact citizens when race, color, income, etc. are sometimes involved.

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