April is Fair Housing Month, and April 11, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of passage of the Fair Housing Act, officially known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, signed into law by President Johnson.
As originally written, the Act outlawed housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin or religion in housing sales, rentals and brokerage services. It was later amended to also protect against discrimination based on sex. It was the last of the three great federal civil rights acts passed in the 1960s, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
In honor of the Act’s 50th anniversary, fair housing advocates are creating public awareness campaigns to highlight the fact that housing discrimination still exists and that resources are available to the public.
Local Public Awareness Campaign
In Ventura County, the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS (VCCAR) has created a 90-second video on prevention of real estate fraud. Representatives of VCCAR said the video is a way to raise awareness locally of possible real estate fraud and how to protect against it. VCCAR said it is working with the County of Ventura District Attorney’s office to help prevent, detect and report such fraud.
National Public Awareness Campaign
In nationwide campaigns, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Thurgood Marshall Institute has created an online retrospective detailing the history of fair housing laws in the United States.
Additionally, the National Fair Housing Alliance has launched its 50 Stories Project, encouraging filmmakers to submit short films telling stories of people who have been helped by the law.
For more information on fair housing in Ventura County, please visit the County of Ventura’s Fair Housing webpage.