On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap and family status. This important law also made it unlawful for a housing provider to make, print or publish any statement or advertisement providing for a preference based on these classes.
This year, we Floridians join all Americans in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act. We are encouraged to learn more about our rights and responsibilities under the act as a part of National Fair Housing Month. For the past 50 years, Americans across this great land are reminded that all citizens are entitled to the same fair housing rights when seeking to rent, own, buy or insure a home, and they are free to take action if they suspect discrimination.
Unfortunately, 50 years of fair housing laws have sometimes failed to deliver justly. For many people of color, fair housing today remains just as elusive as it was in 1968.
A year-long analysis of 31 million records by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that: