Sending Office: Honorable Al Green
DEADLINE: COB Thursday, April 25th
Today, I write to request support for a resolution recognizing the month of April as Fair Housing Month.
This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the congressional passage of the Fair Housing Act. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most prominent figures in the history of the civil rights movement, was an ardent supporter of fair housing and envisioned
a society free of discrimination. As a result, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968, one week after the assassination of Dr. King. The Fair Housing Act was a monumental step forward for the civil rights movement and pivotal
to establishing equal opportunity in housing for all Americans.
Although we have made great strides since those days, discrimination persists in this country. More than 4 million fair housing violations still occur each year against people of all protected classes, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender
identity. Housing is one of the most fundamental factors in determining one’s quality of life, and millions of people across the country cannot access decent and affordable housing. Further, with this administration’s attacks on housing protections for the
most vulnerable groups in our society, it is absolutely imperative that we reaffirm our fundamental commitment to housing equality.
This is why I am introducing this resolution along with my colleague, Rep. Cleaver, to recognize April as Fair Housing Month. This resolution will support the core values and goals of the Fair Housing Act and celebrate the important historical milestone
achieved by its enactment.
To cosponsor this resolution, please fill out our
google form. If you have any questions, please contact Tenzin in Rep. Al Green’s office at
Tenzin.Pelkyi@mail.house.gov or Eric in Rep. Cleaver’s office at
Eric.Morrissette@mail.house.gov by COB
Thursday, April 25th.
Al Green Emanuel Cleaver
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Promoting and supporting the goals and ideals of the Fair Housing Act and recognizing April 2019 as Fair Housing Month, which includes bringing attention to the discrimination faced by every-day Americans in the United States in housing and housing-related
transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, disability, and religion.
Whereas April 11, 2019, marks the 51st anniversary of the congressional passage of the Fair Housing Act (title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968);
Whereas September 13, 2019, marks the 31st anniversary of the congressional passage of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988;
Whereas the Chicago Freedom Movement, led by the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., expanded the fight for civil rights from the South to the North, raised the national consciousness about housing discrimination, and shaped the debate that led to the
landmark fair housing legislation, the Fair Housing Act;
Whereas the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and commonly known as the Kerner Commission, found on February 29, 1968, that ‘‘our nation is moving toward two societies, one black and one white—separate
Whereas Congress passed the Fair Housing Act as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Act into law on April 11, 1968, one week after the assassination of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.;
Whereas the original Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, and religion;
Whereas the mission statement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reflects this commitment to ‘‘build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination’’;
Whereas in section 808 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Congress amended the Fair Housing Act to include protection on the basis of sex;
Whereas the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 passed by overwhelming margins in Congress, included protection on the basis of familial status and disability, created an important enforcement mechanism, and expanded the definition of ‘‘discriminatory housing
practices’’ to include interference and intimidation, requiring HUD to issue regulations to implement and interpret the Fair Housing Act and report annually to Congress on the nature and extent of housing discrimination;
Whereas the intent of Congress in passing the Fair Housing Act was broad and inclusive, to advance equal opportunity in housing and achieve racial integration for the benefit of all people in the United States;
Whereas the intent of Congress in passing the Fair Housing Act was to prohibit discrimination in all housing and housing-related transactions, including policies or practices that appear facially neutral but have a discriminatory effect on protected classes;
Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States of America has reaffirmed the use of the disparate impact doctrine to challenge policies or practices that have a discriminatory effect on protected classes;
Whereas housing testing has revealed that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity exists and that fair housing protections must be extended to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community;
Whereas housing testing has revealed that discrimination against people who use public housing assistance, including support from the Housing Choice Voucher and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing programs, and other forms of legal income exists and that
fair housing protections against source of income discrimination must be extended to all people;
Whereas an individual’s housing conditions impact their health, educational attainment level, employment opportunities, and personal wealth;
Whereas borrowers of color lack access to quality and affordable credit compared to similarly situated White borrowers;
Whereas research shows that African-American and Latinx people pay anywhere between $250 to $500 million a year more than similarly situated White borrowers due to discriminatory factors in mortgage lending;Whereas the majority of Americans support neighborhood
integration and numerous studies have shown the universal benefits of residential integration;
Whereas more than 4,000,000 violations of fair housing laws still occur each year against people of all protected classes, and testing of the enforcement of fair housing laws continues to uncover a high rate of discrimination in the rental, sales, mortgage
lending, and insurance markets;
Whereas less than one percent of violations of fair housing laws are reported each year;
Whereas private, nonprofit, fair housing centers funded by Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) are the frontline in the effort to resolve housing discrimination and train local housing providers on how to comply with the Fair Housing Act;
Whereas in 2017 approximately 28,843 housing discrimination complaints were filed, of which 20,595 complaints or approximately 70 percent, were filed with local private, nonprofit, fair housing centers;
Whereas the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) funds state and local civil and human rights enforcement agencies to investigate and process housing discrimination complaints, conduct special enforcement projects, and take part in training and other
projects designed to enhance the agency’s administration and enforcement of its fair housing law;
Whereas while our Nation has made great strides in eliminating housing discrimination, families with children, women, people with disabilities, people of color, religious minorities, LGBTQ people, and low-income people on public assistance still face discriminatory
barriers to housing;
Whereas fair housing education and enforcement play a pivotal role in increasing housing choice and homeownership opportunities for people of color and combating predatory lending; and
Whereas the Fair Housing Act is an essential component of our Nation’s civil rights legislation: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) supports the goals and values of the 51st anniversary of the enactment of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.) and the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Public Law 100–430; 102 Stat. 1619);
(2) supports activities to recognize and celebrate the important historical milestones represented by the anniversaries of the enactment of the Fair Housing Act and the enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988; and
(3) encourages all people and levels of government to rededicate themselves to the enforcement and the ideals of fair housing laws.
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