April is National Fair Housing Month
Fair Housing Month recognizes the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, which expanded on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VIII of the new act prohibited discrimination in housing (sale, rental, and financing), based on race, sex, religion, national origin, and disability and familial status.
A fair housing bill had been floating through Congress, but it failed to appeal to lawmakers until after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was well known for marching for open housing in segregated cities from Detroit to Atlanta, and in the streets of Louisville in between. After Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968, President Johnson pushed for quick approval of the Act through Congress as a memorial to King and his legacy, attempting to enact Fair Housing before Dr. King’s funeral on April 9, 1968. The House of Representatives passed the Fair Housing Act, and the Senate voted to pass the Act without any debate. President Johnson then signed the Act into law on April 11, 1968.
More than 50 years later, fair housing isn’t a guarantee. It still requires advocacy, enforcement, education, and outreach. People experience discrimination in housing every day, and disparate housing practices exist. This year, these problems are compounded by a global pandemic, confusing or difficult processes in accessing relief funds, unemployment, underemployment, virtual hearings, personal illness, and the loss of loved ones.
Fair Housing Month is a great time to take a closer look at our housing crisis, to identify what can be changed for the better, ensure people and families move in to safe and affordable housing, and most importantly, to keep them housed.
Be on the lookout for Fair Housing Events and information throughout the month of April, especially around the topic of eviction. The Human Relations Commission will post about these events on our social media sites. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Recorded Fair Housing Month Events:
Our Children are in Jeopardy: The Long Shadow of Housing Insecurity
On Monday, April 12th, the Human Relations Commission joined the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, AARP KY, and the League of Women Voters Louisville to discuss housing insecurity that affects Louisville's children and families. In case you missed it, the recording is available here: https://fb.watch/4T1up-ikrk/