Categories: Community Corner
In April 1968, the Fair Housing Act was passed into law, and to commemorate this historic legislation, April has been designated FAIR HOUSING MONTH. The Fair Housing Act -- which promised to end housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sex or familial status -- would probably never have been made it into law had it not been for Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Still, however, more than 50 years after its passage, overt housing discrimination has been largely replaced by exclusionary zoning blocking the creation of affordable (and supportive) housing and leaving the country with a shortage of an estimated 4 million affordable homes. This short video by Vox is a great summary.
A number of fixes are available to the Biden Administration which has proposed giving federal funding to localities that ban exclusionary zoning. Another is legal: suing the suburbs that employ these discriminatory practices. Another is legislative: amending the FHA to prohibit economic discrimination.