Celebrating 50 Years of the Fair Housing Act

The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). This historic piece of civil rights legislation declared that fair housing was now the law of the land, making discrimination based on certain protected characteristics illegal in the rental, sale, insuring and financing of housing.

However, since its enactment, enforcement of the FHA has been passive and uneven at best. As a result, half a century later, housing discrimination and residential segregation are still deeply pervasive, both in the United States and in the New York City region specifically. It is for this reason that the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) exists: to eliminate housing discrimination; promote policies and programs that foster open, accessible, and inclusive communities; and strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws.

In honor of this milestone, the FHJC will celebrate throughout this year the gains that have been made for fair housing in the past 50 years, as well as highlighting how much farther we still need to go to make fair housing a living reality for all.

We will be updating this page throughout the year with more information about how we are celebrating this milestone, and how you can support fair housing and the FHJC this year.

 

Why I support Fair Housing STories

Where we live matters. Housing affects every other aspect of life, defining everything from what school someone goes to, to the grocery stores people buy food from, to someone’s health, to the parks and public spaces families can go to, to the jobs and opportunities people have access to. And that is why fair and equal access housing is vitally important.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, the FHJC has launched a new stories series, Why I Support Fair Housing. These first-person reflections describe how where a person lived impacted their life, and why that person supports fair housing in their community as a result. You can read some of these stories here.

But we want to hear from you as well. What is your fair housing story? How has housing impacted your life? Why do you support fair housing in your community? If you would like to share your story with us, please email us as fhjc@fairhousingjustice.org with the subject line “My Fair Housing Story”. You can also share your fair housing by posting on your Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MyFairHousingStory. We will share these stories, with permission, on a case-by-case basis.

BUILDING THE BELOVED COMMUNITY INITIATIVE

In honor of Dr. King’s enduring vision and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, the Fair Housing Justice Center, along with Union Theological Seminary and the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, have launched a new initiative called Building the Beloved Community. The Building the Beloved Community initiative is aimed at harnessing the power of religious communities and faith-based organizations to work towards building the beloved community by advancing fair housing in the New York City region. This initiative is focused on educating religious congregations, communities and organizations across the region about fair housing rights and how to exercise them, and on equipping individuals and communities to advocate for fair housing locally, regionally, and nationally. This collaborative effort between fair housing advocates and religious leaders and communities will move us much closer to realizing Dr. King’s vision of building the beloved community in our region and our nation. Learn more about the Building the Beloved Community initiative and ways to participate in it at www.bbcfairhousing.org.