Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fair Housing Month: HUD Declares 2010 a 'Time to Act'

In a press release issued yesterday at the start of Fair Housing Month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the theme for this year's activities is "Fair Housing in 2010: Time to Act," reflecting the "urgent need" to prevent housing discrimination across the United States.

John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at HUD, put it into historical context: "In the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in April 1968, President Johnson moved for passage of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to bring the nation forward and together," he said. "Since then, we have made progress but there remains work to be done. It is time to act."

Indeed, progress can be measured by the many apartment hunters, tenants, and others who, thanks to the passage of the FHA, received compensation after complaining of housing injustices. The subsequent amendments to the FHA adding sex, then disability and familial status as protected classes are also widely cited as progressive landmarks.

Assuming Mr. Trasviña is right, then just how much progress have we made since 1968, and how much work remains to be done?

What do you think?

Return tomorrow for the third part of this special "Fair Housing Month" feature at Fairhousingblog.com.

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