WASHINGTON– Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statement on the 55th anniversary of the enactment of the signing of the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA):
“Since its passage in 1968, the Fair Housing Act has been a critical tool for breaking down discriminatory barriers to housing. In addition to its prohibition on housing discrimination, the Act has a forward-looking mandate—its requirement that all federal agencies administer their housing programs and activities in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing. It is imperative that every administration take these dual mandates seriously.
“We applaud recent efforts by the Biden administration and Secretary Marcia Fudge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including the reinstatement of its Discriminatory Effects rule and the publication of the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. However, there is still much work to be done. The Lawyers’ Committee is litigating several fair housing cases on behalf of Black residents who have been denied housing opportunities because of public housing redevelopment that results in significant loss of units, unduly restrictive tenant screening, and restrictive zoning policies that severely limit affordable, multifamily housing. These types of policies and practices reinforce structural racism in our housing system at a time of profound crisis for renters and low- and moderate-income homeowners. In light of these continuing challenges, we urge HUD to do everything possible to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act and open pathways to opportunity and prosperity for Black Americans and all Americans.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law– The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visithttps://lawyerscommittee.org/