In the United States of America, there are laws which aim to eradicate any sort of discrimination form the society. In such a case, housing is no different. The Fair Housing act is one such law, which was passed by the congress as early as in 1968. The primary aim of the act is to eradicate any sort of discrimination to a citizen, desirous of either renting in or buying a house, due to any factors like caste, creed, economical status, color and even sex. Basically, this act is an extension of a thought process that evolved in the 19th century and looked to give an equal chance to all as far dwelling opportunities are concerned. At that point of time, it was more popularly called open housing.
Presently, the act is in full force in all states and is strictly enforced. The Housing and urban development department is primarily responsible for the upkeep of this law and any complaints related to such discrimination is normally acted upon by this department. It has more than fifty offices across the country and is taken care of by more than five hundred staff members.
The law has a history to its making. During the 1950s, there was a feeling that equal opportunities should be granted to all as far as dwelling facilities are concerned. This led to the formation of a body, who took on the powerful lobby of real estate industry, which tended to discriminate as far as selling houses were concerned. Though this dialogue did not have any specific effect, it tended to open a thought process about fair housing. Instead of passing legislation to this effect, the issue was doing the corridors of powers trying to be swept under the carpet. But, on 28th August, 1963, there was a huge demonstration by the public of Seattle asking for fair housing rights. This led to the desired effect. The Seattle human rights commission recommended an ordinance against such discriminatory policies in housing.
Different applications and countless numbers of demonstrations later, the government finally woke upto the fact that housing is one of the basic needs of a man and cannot be discriminated based on any criterion. Thus was born the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
A clear look at the history of mankind will show that housing has always been discriminated upon, especially by lobbies advocating for caste colonies and economical groups. Such kinds always find excuses to live with their own brethren or amongst the same social class, thereby ostracizing the poor or neglected classes of society. It is high time that such old thoughts are banished from the society and oneness be embraced for a better society, unaffected by the caste, creed or economical class divisions.
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