50 years of the Fair Housing Act

In short, the act is meant to create a unitary housing market, where only your financial resources, not your background, can prevent you from renting or purchasing a home.

The act bans any refusal to rent or sell a dwelling based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability (in addition, a set of design guidelines and accessibility requirements apply to certain types of housing). In addition, it bans any discrimination in the form of applying different terms or conditions for the sale or rental of property, based on those characteristics, as well any advertising that expresses a preference for those characteristics.

Why was the act necessary?

The Fair Housing Act is often portrayed as complementary to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as it aimed to address entrenched housing segregation.

Practices such as redlining and restrictive covenants (denying people of color access to insurance or home loans) fostered segregation in many areas.

An Overview of the Fair Housing Act