Fair housing in the US has been the object of much controversy, mainly due to the “Affirmative Action”Civil Rights” agenda that permeates American society at present. For those who are unaware, this is nothing more than a government-sponsored initiative to give certain disadvantaged groups an equal chance in getting hired in different areas of life (including housing). Apart, from the fact that it is an initiative based on racial discrimination, there are other issues involved which is why this type of initiative is not as widely accepted in the USA.
Fair Housing in America started as a reaction against the legalized racial discrimination in the Jim Crow era, generally as a result of the abolition of slavery. With the passage of civil rights legislation and other governmental initiatives, people were now given the right to get employment, access to credit, etc. However, this process of “racial equality” also meant that there were now two classes of citizens in America. The “Equal Opportunity Society” included the people belonging to the same race as the other; while the “Discriminated Society” consisted of people belonging to the “Disadvantaged Class” or the different races.
In the early years of this “Affirmative Action” program, there were some notable successes, but these soon ran out. As a result, many US states enacted similar legislation to combat the situation. Unfortunately, these laws are considered to be discriminatory by international law, and therefore they have been ruled invalid in recent years.
Nevertheless, the Fair Housing Policy Act of 1967 continues to serve as the foundation for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This legislation, by law, requires US states to ensure that all individuals are given an equal opportunity to get a job, purchase homes, etc.
As of right now, the US Justice Department is still actively enforcing the Fair Housing Act in several cases. However, the federal administration is usually unable to successfully get its way when local courts are forced to enforce it.
Despite this setback, the Fair Housing Policy is still the most significant piece of legislation in ensuring equal opportunities for all minorities. In fact, in some cities, the policy has been used to defend the rights of the gay community.
Because of its importance, there are many organizations around the US that support the Fair Housing Policy. The National Organization for Women (NOW) is one such organization, along with the Center for Law & Social Change (CLSC), the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the Urban League.
While the FHA is the main law to protect minority groups, there are other pieces of legislation that can serve the same purpose. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides additional protection for minorities who have problems accessing public facilities, and for individuals with physical handicaps.