what is fhact 50?
On April 11, 1968—seven days after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act (FHACT). The legislation was co-sponsored by then-Senators Edward Brooke and Walter Mondale and advanced an ambitious and progressive vision: to eliminate housing discrimination and residential segregation in this country. As envisioned, the Fair Housing Act is an important tool for achieving both justice and equity. In signing the bill, President Johnson proclaimed: “At long last, fair housing for all is now a part of the American way of life. We have come some of the way—not near all of it.
The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act, as well as the 30th anniversary of the creation of the National Fair Housing Alliance.
Fair housing is not just an important tool for eliminating discrimination; it also helps to strengthen families, communities, businesses, and our overall economy. Fulfillment of the letter and spirit of the law means that every community can be a place of opportunity where people can live in diverse, inclusive, accessible neighborhoods with quality schools, healthy foods, meaningful jobs, health care, green spaces, quality credit, and the other opportunities that frame and affect our lives.
The Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) introduced meaningful federal enforcement mechanisms. It outlaws:
Discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling.
Advertising the sale or rental of a dwelling indicating preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, disability or national origin.
Coercing, threatening, intimidating, or interfering with a person's enjoyment or exercise of housing rights based on discriminatory reasons or retaliating against a person or organization that aids or encourages the exercise or enjoyment of fair housing rights.