The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today recognized Fair Housing Month. The Fair Housing Act was enacted 53 years ago.
HUD said its 2021 theme, "Fair Housing: More Than Just Words," reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing equity in housing and the importance of increasing public awareness of everyone’s right to fair housing.
"Fair Housing Month is a time to recommit to our nation’s obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to safe, affordable housing,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said in a public address. “Unfortunately, housing discrimination still exists, from individuals and families being denied a place to call home because of the color of their skin or where they come from, to landlords refusing to allow persons with disabilities to keep assistance animals, to individuals being denied a place to live because of who they love. In this moment of unprecedented crisis, fair housing is more important than ever. 53 years after the Fair Housing Act was signed, our journey to justice in housing continues.”
HUD annually hosts activities related to fair housing during the month of April. Last year's Fair Housing Month, for example, focused on sexual harassment in housing.
In the past year, HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partner agencies received more than 7,700 complaints alleging discrimination based on one or more of the Fair Housing Act's seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, and disability. During that period, the categories with the highest number of complaints were disability and race, respectively, according to a press release from HUD, which said it also received complaints that alleged lending discrimination as well as numerous complaints from women who faced unfair treatment, including sexual harassment.
"Although the Fair Housing Act became law in 1968, we still have major challenges ahead of us,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.“This April, on the 53rd anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, HUD is renewing its commitment to level the playing field so every person has the same opportunity to live where they choose and benefit from all of the opportunities this nation offers."
Fudge's full remarks are featured in the video below: