Fair Housing at 50

April 11, 2018, is the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, better known as the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). Few pieces of legislation have had such an immediate, practical and significant impact on the provision of housing throughout this country. 

Learn more about what the first half-century of the FHA can tell us about the future. 

  • image of the US constitution

    1789 - The U.S. Constitution

    Property Rights are protected by the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Minorities and women previously had been denied these rights because of slavery, court cases, state statutes and legislation.

  • civil rights act of 1866 - illustration of people celebrating

    1866 - The Civil Rights Act

    The Civil Rights Act of 1866 grants full citizenship rights to all males born in the U.S. regardless of race and guarantees all U.S. citizens the rights to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold or convey real and personal property.

  • map of the US with small county divisions

    1917 - Racial Zoning

    Racial Zoning is outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Nevertheless, laws and real estate practices continue to deny property rights based on race.

  • front of the US supreme court building

    1948 - The Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court ends federal court enforcement of racially restrictive covenants.

  • colorado state capitol building

    1959 - Colorado

    Colorado becomes the first state in the nation to pass personal property antidiscrimination laws.

  • lyndon b johnson signing the civil rights act of 1968

    1968 - The Civil Rights Act

    U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968 into law. Title VIII of the act, commonly known as the “Fair Housing Act,” prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin in the sale, rental or financing of housing.

  • president ford signing the 1974 Housing and Community Development Act

    1974 - Housing and Community Development Act

    Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 becomes law. Through Section 109 of Title I of the Act, Congress makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender in housing and amends the FHA to include gender as a protected class.

  • ronald reagan signs the 1988 Fair Housing Amendments Act

    1988 - Fair Housing Amendments Act

    U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 into law. The act adds disability and familial status to the list of protected classes under Title VIII of the Fair Housing Act. It also strengthens enforcement of fair housing law by making it easier for victims of discrimination to sue and stiffening penalties for those who discriminate. A majority of Congressional Black Caucus members co-sponsored.