The National Fair Housing Alliance Launches #FHAct50:
A Year-Long Campaign to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) announced the launch of #FHAct50, its year-long campaign to educate the American public about the importance of the Fair Housing Act, advocate for strengthened fair housing policies, and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the law. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law on April 11, 1968 – seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Though it has been the law since 1968, a significant number of people still do not know their rights under the Fair Housing Act.
“This is extremely concerning because many aspects of our lives are connected to the neighborhoods in which we live, including access to quality jobs, healthcare, financial services, and education,” said Shanna Smith, NFHA’s President & CEO. The Fair Housing Act works to ensure that everyone has equal and fair access to housing and that all neighborhoods are places of opportunity. The Fair Housing Act protects people based on race, color, sex, religion, familial status, national origin, and disability.
Over four million instances of housing discrimination occur annually but only about 28,000 instances are officially reported each year. This is largely because many people do not realize that they have been discriminated against. Also, many people do not know what steps to take when they do face housing discrimination. The #FHAct50 Campaign seeks to make more consumers, renters, and home buyers aware of their rights. The campaign also seeks to educate members of the housing industry about the benefits of the Fair Housing Act and how the law can be used to grow business opportunities.
Walter F. Mondale, former Vice President of the United States and co-author of the Fair Housing Act, is serving as the Honorary Chair of the #FHAct50 Advisory Council. Gale King, the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Nationwide, and Natalie Abatemarco, Managing Director of Citi Community Development are serving as Co-Chairs.
Mr. Mondale stated, “As we look back on the first 50 years of the Fair Housing Act in America, we see a lot of improvements to the quality of life for Americans across the spectrum–especially for people of color that have been historically discriminated against by both the federal government and the housing industry. We must continue our efforts to, in the words of President Johnson, ‘make fair housing…a part of the American way of life.’”
“Dr. King, one of our nation’s most ardent champions for fair housing, admonished us to develop and implement an ‘action program’ to advance equal housing opportunities. We at Nationwide are helping to carry out Dr. King’s wishes because we recognize that it is the right thing to do. We also recognize that our business community is strengthened by advancing the principles of fair housing because strong neighborhoods and communities make strong businesses,” said Gale King, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Nationwide.
“Enabling economic progress requires affordable, fair and inclusive housing. We at Citi are pleased to collaborate with NFHA to help empower our nation’s consumers, renters and homebuyers in order to make the next 50 years of the fair housing movement even more successful,” stated Natalie Abatemarco, Managing Director of Citi Community Development.
The #FHAct50 Campaign will feature regional forums, a national conference, the release of the short film Seven Days, and other events hosted by NFHA and its partners across the country. Each event is designed to discuss current and future challenges and to develop strategies to expand equal housing opportunities. Attendees will also have the opportunity to join NFHA to help advance efforts to broaden access to fair housing. A calendar of #FHAct50 events can be accessed here.
Additionally, the #FHAct50 Campaign will feature a series of public service announcements developed in partnership with The CauseWay Agency, Nationwide, and Citi. The PSAs, which will be featured in a variety of publications, will inform the public about their fair housing rights, and provide information on how to report housing discrimination.
In conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, a new book has been published about the Act and what it means for individuals and communities. The Fight for Fair Housing: Causes, Consequences, and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act was edited by Gregory D. Squires and features chapters from academic and fair housing luminaries.
It is available on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites as well as from the publisher at Routledge.com.
The 50th Anniversary Commemoration is sponsored by: Nationwide, Citi, State Farm, J.P. Morgan Chase, A.G. Spanos Companies, National Apartment Association, Zillow Group, Pulte Mortgage, Quicken Loans, Vantage Score, Bell Partners, Mortgage Bankers Association and The CauseWay Agency.
Visit the official website commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act at FHAct50.org.
View the #FHAct50 media kit at http://fhact50.org/resources.
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Washington D.C., the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the only national organization dedicated solely to ending discrimination in housing. NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education and outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, community development, advocacy, and enforcement.