Signed into law more than 50 years ago, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 remains the most comprehensive legislation to ensure fair and equal access to housing in the U.S., prohibiting discriminatory practices based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability.
Unfortunately – as we have witnessed – the Fair Housing Act has not resolved the continued exclusion of these protected groups from renting and purchasing homes, and we still see hyper-segregated neighborhoods across the country.
Though the barriers posed by the housing affordability crisis impact individuals and families of all races and ethnicities, households of color are disproportionately impacted by rising housing costs. Today, households of color remain less likely to own their own homes when compared with white households. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020 just 44 percent of black households own their own home, compared with more than 73 percent of white households. Existing housing stock is not supporting the needs of communities of color.
Every April, we commemorate Fair Housing Month, and reflect on how far we still have to go to ensure that access to housing is fair and equitable for all Americans. And there are bright spots on the horizon. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the need for more inclusive housing opportunities. The new Biden administration is also working to restore critical components of the Fair Housing Act sidelined under the Trump administration.
America’s promise of opportunity is built on the foundation of homeownership. For generations, the blueprint for wealth creation has been predicated on the financial gains afforded by owning a home. Through our work to help solve the housing affordability crisis, we are proud to be able to address fair housing by eliminating barriers to the American Dream, particularly for those individuals living in lower-income communities of color, on tribal lands, and in immigrant communities.