April is National Fair Housing Month, and every year, local communities – along with fair housing advocates and organizations across the country – work alongside HUD in their mission to increase the public’s awareness of housing rights, highlight fair housing enforcement efforts, and emphasize the importance of ending housing discrimination.
This month we also celebrate the anniversary of The Fair Housing Act which President Lyndon Johnson signed in 1968 making fair housing the law. Upon signing the milestone act, he declared, “Now, with this bill, the voice of justice speaks again. It proclaims that Fair Housing for all, all human beings who live in this country, is now part of the American way of life.”
Many individuals have successfully enforced these rights since the Fair Housing Act was ratified. The equality that is enforced by fair housing laws means that all individuals and families have a pathway to help, ensuring the protection of their rights.
The passage of the 1988 Fair Housing Amendments Act was a victory for fair housing and extended protections to individuals with disabilities. However, significant challenges to housing equality continue to persist. Recent lawsuits brought about by the federal government demonstrate that the Act remains an important tool for fighting ongoing discrimination practices.
Today, many local governments safeguard fair housing protections beyond the Fair Housing Act. This includes things such as forbidding housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or source of income which is not covered by the Act. In addition, some argue that anti-density zoning and rising housing costs are significant contributors to segregation. Communities can fight back by prioritizing affordable housing and inclusionary zoning policies as well as community aid programs.
Founded by a dedicated group of low-income Richmond residents, Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services was established to reverse the adverse effects of systemic segregation, redlining, disinvestment, and blight. Today, RNHS has grown to serve the needs of over 7,500 families across the East Bay. RNHS continues to work for a more just and equitable society. RNHS is a HUD-approved Housing Counseling agency. For additional information, reach out to us at [email protected], call (510) 237-6459, or like us on Facebook.
Welcome to the biggest fight in decades for fairness in America’s housing and finance laws
The Community Reinvestment Act was a landmark civil rights law passed in 1977 to end discrimination that was once common in America’s banking and housing markets. Discrimination in lending is still a problem, and we’re concerned about ideas from some regulators that would substantially weaken the law. We can’t allow that to happen. Click here to learn more or to learn how you can take action.
Housing Policy and Belonging in Richmond
What does it mean to really belong in Richmond? How do our homes shape how we think of who belongs? What solutions and actions are needed to achieve a city where everyone belongs? The stories, poetry, data, images, and policies that make up this report published by UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, center on these questions.
Much of the research and creative development of this report was done by the Staying Power Fellows, a group of Richmond residents impacted by the housing crisis who over the past year carried out interviews, analyzed data, read reports and analyzed their own experience. The research in this report also comes from the insights and ongoing work of many Richmond-based organizations and other residents. On June 3, 2017, eight organizations co-sponsored a Citywide Housing Symposium, where over 100 participants discussed housing issues in Richmond and policies to address them. Public spaces for community leaders working on these issues have also been a source and a sounding board for the research, including the GRIP Social Justice Forum and the Richmond Progressive Alliance Housing Action Team.
Download a PDF of this report here
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Housing Policy and Belonging in Richmond