Fair Housing More Than Just Skin Color

April 27, 2007
The arduous quest for fair housing began more than 140 years ago with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 when Congress passed the first bill aimed at providing civil rights to freed slaves and those blacks who were born on U.S. soil. However, it took 100 more years (in 1968) before laws were passed to guarantee equal treatment in the area of housing.
     Fast forward to today and the struggle for fair housing has bloomed to a fan of protected classes beyond color. The seven federal protected classes include color, race, national origin, sex (gender), religion, familial status and disability. On the state and local level, however, jurisdictions have created even more classes to protect against housing discrimination.