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    Fair Housing and Why It Matters to Ending Homelessness

    National Alliance to End Homelessness

    Year: 2024

    The Fair Housing Act is our nation’s primary fair housing law. On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, known as the federal Fair Housing Act. The law was passed seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to honor Dr. King’s work to create fair or “open” housing in the U.S.

    The twin goals of the Fair Housing Act are to prohibit discrimination in housing, and to replace existing patterns of residential racial segregation with “truly integrated and balanced living patterns.”

    Notwithstanding, racial discrimination in market rate housing informs the disproportionate representation of people of color experiencing homelessness. Here’s a look back at how this history of structural racism has created these disparities in homelessness, and how adherence to the Fair Housing Act is critical to addressing our nation’s current housing crisis.

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