Congressman Al Green’s Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

Apr 11, 2018 Issues: Housing

Washington, D.C. (April 11, 2018) Representatives Al Green (D-TX) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-CA) introduced H.Res.817 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act with 54 members of Congress.

H.Res.817 is a resolution promoting and supporting the goals and ideals of the Fair Housing Act and recognizing April 2018 as Fair Housing Month, which includes bringing attention to the discrimination faced by every-day Americans in the United States in housing and housing-related transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, disability, and religion.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. On April 11, 1968, one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law. Dr. King was an ardent supporter of fair housing and envisioned a society free of discrimination. The Fair Housing Act was a monumental step for the civil rights movement and was pivotal to establishing equal opportunity in housing for all Americans.

Although the Fair Housing Act does a great service to Dr. King’s legacy, discrimination still persists in this country. More than 4 million fair housing violations occur each year against people of all protected classes, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

In light of this administration’s attacks on fair housing and the proposed changes to remove key anti-discrimination language from HUD’s mission statement, this year’s resolution includes a provision affirming the critical importance of HUD’s commitment to “build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.” The resolution also demands fair housing protections be extended to the LGBTQ community.

H.Res.817 was signed by 54 members: Reps Karen Bass (D-CA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA), Anthony G. Brown(D-MD), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Michael E. Capuano (D-MA), Salud O. Carabajal (D-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Brian Higgins (R-LA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-NY), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (D-GA), Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Lewis (D-GA), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL), David Scott (D-GA), Terri A. Sewell (D-AL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Marc A. Veasey (D-TX), Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), Adam Smith (D-WA).