In the late 1960s, America was in a state of disorder. The Civil Rights Movement was at its peak, and people were fighting for equality across all walks of life. This included the right to fair housing. On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law. This act banned discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It was a great victory for the Civil Rights Movement, and it altered the face of American living forever. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of the Fair Housing Act and its effects on American renters.
Civil Rights and Fair Housing
The Fair Housing Act was a direct response to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the struggle for equality that was occurring across the country. That act prohibited discrimination in public places but, on the other hand, did not work on or address discrimination in housing. This left numerous black Americans experiencing terrible housing conditions. The Kerner Commission, studying the civil disorders and causes of riots in US Cities in 1967, wrote, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”
Grasping well that the federal government had a responsibility to address housing inequality, Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts and Representative John Conyers of Michigan sponsored an act that would swiftly forbid housing discrimination. On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The Fair Housing Act was passed by Congress on April 11, 1968, and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on the same day.
The Fair Housing Act regarded and addressed housing inequality by making it illegal to discriminate against renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It further developed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), which works to abolish housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities. FHEO is also responsible for enforcing the act.
The Impact of Fair Housing
The effects of the Fair Housing Act were instant and comprehensive. It opened up previously segregated neighborhoods to minorities. It equally made it effortless for families of all income levels to find and get safe and affordable housing. The act has been instrumental in reducing poverty and improving educational outcomes for children dwelling in low-income households.
The Fair Housing Act has been amended several times since it was first passed. The most current amendment, passed in 1988, expanded the definition of “family” to include unmarried couples and people with disabilities. It also definitely strengthened the enforcement provisions of the act.
The Fair Housing Act and You
The Fair Housing Act is one of the most vital pieces of legislation in American history. It has helped make a more equal and just society by securing that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing. If you’re a renter in the United States, it’s crucial to perceive and understand well your rights under the Fair Housing Act. A few of the rights the Fair Housing Act protects are the following:
- The right to choose a housing option without discrimination
- The right to occupy a safe and acceptable housing environment
- The right to fair treatment all during the housing search process
- The right to not be refused housing based on your income
If you certainly feel like you’ve been discriminated against, you can easily file a complaint with HUD under the FHEO. You can, in like manner, reach out to a fair housing organization in your area for support.
To best protect your rights, it’s likewise necessary to work with landlords and property managers who know very well and follow fair housing laws. Real Property Management Varanasi has a long history of commitment to fair housing. Browse our listings online to discover top-rated and quality rental homes in Chester.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.