Recent local stories underscore the necessity of the Fair Housing Act today…
It has been 50 years since the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act. While discrimination today is usually more covert – often done with a smile and handshake – we continue to receive complaints related to race, as well as other forms of discrimination.** FHANC recently received a complaint from an African-American renter whose housing provider told her, upon moving in, that her neighbors would be upset with her for renting to an African-American tenant. This landlord began harassing the tenant, and following a dispute about rent, placed a sign in her window: “Black Section 8 Tenant – Shameless [tenant’s name].”
In another case, FHANC conducted a two-part investigation at a property in Marin, using callers with racially-identifiable voices. In both instances, the housing provider refused to schedule a private appointment with the African-American callers; however, when speaking with Caucasian callers just hours later, he agreed to meet without question and offered a lower security deposit.
These examples provide a glimpse into the kind of work still required – 50 years later – to continue the fight for equal housing opportunity.