The Fair Housing Act, passed in April 1968, is a landmark national law that prohibits discrimination in the rental, financing, and sale of housing. Every April since the law was passed, we recognize Fair Housing Month as a way to look back upon the discrimination that necessitated the Fair Housing Act and ensure that its principles are being upheld to prevent discrimination in the present day. Join our real estate agents in looking back on the history of Fair Housing Month and working to support a vibrant, diverse, inclusive future for all communities.
Before the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, discrimination in housing was sadly a common practice in many communities around the country. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, "Residential segregation in America didn't happen by accident. Americans of different races live apart because of deliberate actions by public and private actors.
Though the work to ensure fair housing is never done, the passage of the Fair Housing Act marked an important turning point. The Kansas Human Rights Commission states that the Fair Housing Act means that "every individual within the state has the right to fair housing without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or familial status." In practice, this means that everyone should have the opportunity to purchase or rent the home of their choosing, in the neighborhood of their choosing, so long as they financially qualify.
Imagine trying to purchase a home, having the financial means to do so, and being denied the opportunity based on a fundamental aspect of who you are as a person. The Fair Housing Act is designed to prevent that and essentially defines fair housing as a human right. While there is always more work to be done to ensure that its principles are upheld, the Fair Housing Act has had a major impact in the more than 50 years since its passage.
One of the many important benefits of the Fair Housing Act is that it has created opportunities for the development of more diverse, inclusive communities. When everyone has an equal right to purchase housing, communities naturally become more diverse, and cultural bridges can be built between residents of varying backgrounds.
Beyond housing, that diversity is also reflected in the community as a whole. Think of all of the small businesses, restaurants, and organizations that make each community a unique place to call home. Every community becomes a more vibrant place when people from different backgrounds come together to share their cultures, cuisine, traditions, and unique skills with one another.
At J.P. Weigand & Sons, fair housing is always a priority for our team. Our mission is "To deliver excellence to our customers and clients in all areas of their real estate transaction." And a key part of our vision is "raising the bar for ethics and professionalism and delivering exceptional customer service." Those guiding principles, of course, apply to all of our clients and customers, regardless of background. So while April is a great time to recognize the Fair Housing Act, our goal is truly to provide a fair, equal, and inclusive experience every day of the year.