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About the Topic
This is a research guide created to facilitate the analysis of the Fair Housing Act, and how the Act has been used to address racism since it was enacted. This research guide enables such an analysis through the use of:
- Statutes & Regulations
- Landmark Supreme Court Case
- Case Law
- Secondary Sources
- Current Awareness
There are many aspects of the Fair Housing Act that address other issues, such as socioeconomic discrimination. However, this research guide will be used only to analyze how racial discrimination is addressed by the Fair Housing Act.
Below are relevant research terms that may be used to conduct further research on this topic:
- Fair Housing Act
- Racial discrimination
- Discriminatory intent
- Disparate impact
- Affordable housing
- Civil Rights Act
- Housing and Urban Development
- Discriminatory conduct
- Racial steering
- Housing segregation
- Integrated housing
Overview: How the Fair Housing Act Addresses Racism
Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, several Acts have been implemented in order to prevent racial discrimination within the United States. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 includes the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. In 1988, the FHA Amendments expanded the Act to prohibit discrimination based on disability or familial status. The Amendments also established new mechanisms for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development attorneys to bring actions for victims of housing discrimination. Despite all of these positive changes to prevent racial discrimination, the FHA still contains some deficiencies in terms of leveling the playing field for people of color to have equal housing opportunities. This research guide will facilitate finding resources that analyze how the FHA addresses racism generally.
In this landmark Supreme Court case, the justices held that disparate impact claims are cognizable under the FHA . A disparate impact claim is brought when adverse and disproportionate impacts are affecting certain groups of people, leading to the conclusion that they are being discriminated against.
The focus on disparate impact
claims in this case was important, since plaintiffs in the past often had a difficult time proving discriminatory intent. Since this case opens the doors for disparate impact causes of action in FHA cases, it is seen as a large step in the right direction for civil rights in the United States. This Supreme Court decision will, in the long term, help to equalize housing opportunities for people of all backgrounds.
Relevant Research Guides & Resources
About the Author
B.A., Boston College, Sociology and Environmental Studies
J.D. Candidate, May 2017; Pace University School of Law