Commemorating 50 Years of the Fair Housing Act

April marks the 50th anniversary of when the Civil Rights Act, which contained the Fair Housing Act, was passed into law. This landmark legislation was enacted on April 11,1968 to protect both buyers and renters from discrimination when seeking a place to live.


To celebrate this milestone the Online Fair Housing and Beyond Course will be FREE to members throughout the month of April!

Fair Housing 50th anniversary


IREM Unequivocally Supports the Federal Fair Housing Act

IREM believes in equal opportunity in housing and supports the right of all people to freely choose where they will live without the constraint of prejudice or discrimination. We believe that equal opportunity in housing can best be achieved through continued leadership, observance of law, education and mu­tual cooperation of the real estate industry and the public through a free and open housing market.

History of the Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act is the first law to effectively prohibit discrimination in housing. Barely a week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Congress passed the Fair Housing Act. When first enacted, the only protect­ed classes under the FHA were race, color, religion and national origin, but there have been important additions to that list over the past 50 years.

“1968 was a very difficult year in the history of the United States.  The Tet Offensive in Viet Nam happened in 1968, and the war was in full swing with no signs of ending.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, and shortly thereafter, so was Senator Bobby Kennedy.  There were dark times to be sure, yet there were a few bright spots. One of the brightest was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (which included Title VIII … The Fair Housing Act). 

On April 11, 1968 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, and President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law.  It was a game-changer, and it continues to be one of the best pieces of legislation passed in the 20th Century.  There have been 42 amendments since the law passed, and today it continues to fulfill the mission that began 50 years ago.  It not only leveled the playing field for so many, it serves as a reminder that despite severe political differences, good things actually can be accomplished through the legislative process.”

-Barry Blanton, RVP - Region 12

Fair Housing Over the Years

Fair Housing 50th anniversary

Continuing to Navigate a Complex Practice

Thanks to the Fair Housing Act, we have made incredible strides over the past half century toward establishing a housing environment with equal opportunity for all. How­ever, few would argue against the need for more work to be done in achieving a more equal housing market. IREM looks forward to continuing its work improving housing opportu­nities for all, by educating its members and working with HUD to ensure efficient and effective policy.

Additional Resources:

4/11/2018 Webinar: Recent and Up-and-Coming Trends in Fair Housing
4/18/2018 Webinar: Emotional Support Animals: One Dog, Two Dogs, Three Dogs, Peacock?
Journal of Property Management Article: 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act
Fair Housing- Done Right- Is a Complex, Nuanced Practice
Fair Housing FAQ: Your Questions Answered
Fair Housing Complains – Are you Protected Against Liability?
Criminal Background Checks and the Fair Housing Act: What You Need to Know to Be in Compliance
The Supreme Court’s Disparate Impact Decision: What Does This Mean for My Property?


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