50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

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Every man, woman, and child should have the opportunity to live in quality housing in neighborhoods and communities that allow access to education, economic opportunities, and other means to further their lives.  No one should have to fear discrimination when purchasing a home, renting an apartment, or seeking mortgage financing.

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.  On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law following the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4.  The legislation’s purpose was to eliminate housing discrimination and residential segregation.

Where people live has a direct impact on health and quality of life.  Living in a quality home in a safe neighborhood directly improves physical and mental well-being.   Housing quality, residential stability, and neighborhood location directly impacts educational opportunity and attainment.   Quality housing also improves economic opportunity in a variety of ways including determining the proximity to work and the ability to save money through lower utility bills.

Fahe is committed to Fair Housing and to creating opportunities for Appalachian families through housing, community development, and access to fair financing for businesses and personal home loans.  Our 50+ Members across Central Appalachia also uphold Fair Housing as one of the basic rights for all people.

The Fair Housing act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status.  It is illegal for anyone to threaten coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right. At this time, the Fair Housing Act does not specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases, the HUD website does outline cases involving LGBT persons that may be considered discrimination, such as being acted upon for non-conformity with gender stereotypes. In addition, housing providers that receive HUD funding or have loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), as well as lenders insured by FHA, are subject to HUD’s Equal Access Rule, which requires equal access to HUD programs without regard to a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

We understand that while we as a society have made great strides in equity in housing, not everyone is fully on board with Fair Housing.  In these unfortunate cases, Fahe urges people who have been the victim of discrimination in housing or have witnessed discrimination to others to report these cases and help eliminate these practices.  Visit this page or call 1-800-669-9777 (voice) or 1-800=927-9275 (TTY) to report housing discrimination.

Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act by increasing awareness of the positive impact of Fair Housing.  Visit https://fairhousingresourcecenter.wordpress.com/ for a variety of resources to help spread the word.

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