Before European explorers arrived in current day Idaho, over 8,000 indigenous people inhabited Idaho including the Great Basin Shoshone and Bannock tribes of the Shoshone-Bannock, the Shoshone Paiute and the Plateau tribes of the Coeur d’Alene, Nimiipuu/Nez Perce and Kootenai and indigenous people from what is now known as Mexico. The original Boise Valley People include the Burns Paiute, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Paiute Band, Fort McDermott Paiute, and Shoshone, Shoshone-Paiute, and Shoshone-Bannock. Today, only five tribes are federally recognized in Idaho, they are the Coeur d’Alene, Nimiipuu/Nez Perce, Kootenai, Shoshone-Bannock, and the Shoshone-Paiute.
200 California Volunteer U.S. Troops attacked 390 members of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone who were wintering near the confluence of the Bear River and a frozen creek. Approximately 23 soldiers and 250 Shoshone people were killed within about four hours.”
Chinese people made up between one-quarter and one-third of Idaho’s total population. In 1885 through 1886, an Anti- Chinese attitude exploded and was often led by the Knights of Labor, an early labor union. Chinese immigrants first came to Idaho as railroad and mine workers. Many of these workers settled permanently in Idaho and took other jobs. In 1886, a large Anti-Chinese convention was held in Boise and violent expulsion of Chinese people spread through the state.
Reservation, created by Ulysses S. Grant through Presidential Executive Order in 1873.
Idaho became the fourth state in the nation to give women the right to vote. The territorial legislature had come close to giving women the right to vote as early as 1869. In 1867, the territorial legislature passed a statute making Idaho a community property state, property owned jointly by a married couple. It was not until the turn of the century that women in more than a handful of states had equal rights to family assets.
In response to Anti-Mexican treatment, Idaho passed its first anti-discrimination law in 1961, the Idaho Fair Employment Practices Act.
Idaho Commission on Human Rights was created in response to Anti-Mexican sentiment in Canyon County and elsewhere in the state.
Republican Gov. Don Samuelson’s advisers drafted a bill that granted the proposed commission only investigative and advisory powers in areas of employment opportunities, housing, education and public accommodations. In essence, this served to create a commission to oversee the provisions outlined in the earlier 1961 Anti-discrimination Act. And, like that Act, the commission would be powerless on its own to enforce the law. A 1971 study showed the Commission lacked direct enforcement and subpoena powers, was woefully underfunded and had no “statutory assurance” allowing for “effective complaint processing procedures.
In 1972 Idaho became the first state in the nation to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. An amendment to the United States Constitution first proposed in 1972 to give equal rights to women and men. The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters. and men ever since.
Idaho entered the refugee resettlement arena in 1975 when Governor John Evans established the Indochinese Refugee Assistance Program in response to the need for all states to participate in the resettlement of refugees fleeing the overthrow of U.S. supported governments in Southeast Asia.
United States v. Keith Gilbert (Gilbert 1, 1987; Gilbert II, 1989). In 1980, Keith Gilbert, an avowed white supremacist, sent racially derogatory and “threatening” correspondence to Susan Smith, a White woman who operated an adoption agency that was trying to place minority children.
After remand, Gilbert was convicted at trial. On appeal after trial, he contended that the evidence was insufficient to prove a threat of force, a required element of the criminal provision of the Fair Housing Act. Gilbert argued that no single piece of correspondence threatened Ms. Smith.
Since 1994 IFHC has filed more than 168 design and construction complaints, likely the main factor in motivating the Idaho legislature to incorporate the International Building Code requirements into the statewide building code to ensure that new covered multi-family housing complies with the FHA’s design and construction requirements
Calderon v. Ed Madigan, Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Tilley, Administrator of Farm Home Administration, and the Wilder Housing Authority.
Shelter providers for persons who are homeless argued that Caldwell set the occupancy limitation so low that it failed to make reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.
The Southern Poverty Law Center won a $6.3 million judgement against the Aryan Nations from an Idaho jury who awarded punitive and compensatory damages to a woman and her son who were attacked by Aryan Nations guards. The lawsuit stemmed from the July 1998 attack when security guards at the Aryan Nations compound near Hayden Lake in northern Idaho, shot at Victoria Keenan and her son and an Aryan Nations member held the Keenans at gunpoint. As a result of the judgement, Richard Butler turned over the 20-acre compound to the Keenans, who sold the property to a philanthropist. He donated the land to North Idaho College, which designated the area as a “peace park “.
Supreme Court decision of Idaho v. United States (533 U.S. 262), which resulted in the transfer of the management of the lower third of Lake Coeur d’Alene from the state of Idaho to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe illustrates the strength of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal sovereignty.
The Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho (HCCI), incorporated in May of 1977 functioned as a center without walls until September of 2003 when they opened a 33,000 square foot cultural center in Nampa.
Alamar Ranch v. Boise County. Alamar Ranch sued Boise County alleging three separate violations of the Fair Housing Act: (1) failure to grant a reasonable accommodation for the construction of housing for persons with disabilities, (2) adverse treatment of persons with disabilities and (3) intentional interference with the construction of housing for youth with disabilities by giving into the community opposition to the housing center. Alamar Ranch prevailed, and the jury awarded Alamar $4 million in damages.
Community House, Inc. v. City of Boise, (2011) the City of Boise was ordered to pay $1 million to Community House, a shelter/housing provider when the City violated the State constitution and the Fair Housing Act. The City gave a deal to a religious organization to lease and then own Community House’s building, evicting women and families with children from the shelter, and passing a discriminatory ordinance making the shelter for men only and retaliating against Community House through a hostile takeover of the building and programs. Under the Fair Housing Act, a City cannot favor one gender over another nor pass a law that does so. Moreover, it cannot favor or disfavor a religious group or adults over families with children.
Intermountain Fair Housing Council v. CVE Falls Park, L.L.C, 2:10-CV-00346-BLW (D. Idaho July 20, 2011); Court held that a housing provider that imposes a deposit on a service animal is in violation of the FHA.
Tribes met in Boise, Idaho, their traditional territories to share and practice their traditions. Now an annual event, it has grown into two locations. With the goal of fundraising to create a cultural center to share the importance of remembering Indigenous ancestors. For the People of the Boise Valley it is very important to return to Eagle Rock (renamed by settlers as Castle Rock) to honor and to pray for their ancestors. Eagle Rock is a place where many Indigenous people’s ancestors were buried.
U.S. v. Kelly Schneider (2017). A Nampa, Idaho man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to violently assaulting Steven Nelson because he was gay, resulting in Mr. Nelson’s death. He was convicted of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Schneider also pleaded guilty in 2017 in state court to first-degree murder.
Since 2012, Idaho has 14 cities and 2 counties that have enacted ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Fair Housing History of the United States
For thousands of years before the arrival of European colonizers, Indigenous Peoples lived on the American continent. Initiated by these early settlers, the United States became established in the East and colonized the continent through land grabs and genocide. Following a belief in Manifest Destiny, these efforts led the settler colonials all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Throughout its history, the United States has been part of great oppression as well as great advances in human rights and social justice.
From 1492 into the 20th Century, Europeans have displaced and killed Indigenous people through war, violence, disease and enslavement. From the 15th Century onward, Indigenous people fought colonization, destruction and genocide of their people, language, culture, land, water and resources.
The first African people to reach the English colonies arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. Dutch traders seized the enslaved people from a captured Spanish slave ship. European colonizers continued enslaving Africans until about 1865.
The United States became an independent nation despite the Indigenous nations that already existed within the Americas.
Abolitionists compelled Congress to establish a banking system for people of color and particularly Black soldiers who had no place to keep their Union Army compensation. The Freedman’s Bank was a separate and unequal financial system. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency did not regulate the Freedman’s Bank. It was instead, supervised by a Board of Trustees largely comprised of Wall Street investors and real estate moguls, some of whom stole the depositors’ savings for their own purposes.
President Andrew Johnson declares the Civil War over.
The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States on December 6, 1865. While there were thousands of free Black people in the U.S., most were enslaved without the right to purchase property, enter into contracts, or exercise many other freedoms enjoyed by White citizens.
On April 9, 1866, the Civil Rights Act guaranteed equal rights under the law. “All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by White citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.” The courts interpreted the law to prohibit public or governmental discrimination only.
During the Reconstruction Era, the Homestead Act of 1862 was amended in 1872 to prohibit making a “distinction on account of race or color” in the issuance of Homestead grants thereby opening up the program to settle western lands in the U.S. to those who were not White.
The 61,000 people who had deposited $3 million (over $63 million in today’s dollars) into the system lost what they had when the bank closed in 1874 due to fraud, mismanagement and the panic of 1873. When the Freedman’s Bank closed, people of color were relegated to high-cost financiers and other schemes in an effort to access credit for home and land purchases and other endeavors.
The Compromise of 1877 began allowing for the election of Rutherford B. Hayes as President of the United States. As a part of the Compromise, Republicans agreed to withdraw the remaining federal troops from the South. As a result, a succession of segregationist policies and Jim Crow laws were implemented creating systems of de facto and de jure slavery and segregation.
Plessy vs. Ferguson opened the door for institutionalized segregation known as the “separate but equal” doctrine that legalized segregation.
The National Association of Real Estate Board’s Code of Ethics Prohibits Integration. Under Article 34 of Part III of the Code of Ethics, the guiding document for all real estate professionals in the U.S., stated “A Realtor should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood a character of property or occupancy, members of any race or nationality, or any individuals whose presence will clearly be detrimental to property values in that neighborhood.”
In spite of the fact that they were here before colonizing Europeans arrived and stole their land, Indigenous people were granted citizenship in the United States in 1924.
Real estate expert, Frederick M. Babcock, who helped start the Federal Housing Administration, wrote his racist segregationist housing valuation policy in The Valuation of Real Estate. He suggested that declines in property values could be “partially avoided by segregation and this device has always been in common usage in the South where White and Negro populations have been separated.”
Homer Hoyt, the first Principal Housing Economist for the Federal Housing Administration, perfected a system of ranking races and nationalities in order to illustrate their beneficial effect or negative impact on land values with groups more favorable listed at the top (Western Europeans) and groups less favorable being listed at the bottom (Blacks, Italians and Mexicans).
Established in 1933, this institution helped segregate the United States through housing loans. The HOLC Loan Corporation specified race and immigrant status as considerations, and agency records showed that from 1933 to 1936, the period it was authorized to issue loans, 44% of its help went to areas designated “native White,” 42% to “native White and foreign,” and only 1% to “Negro.”
From 1934 to 1968, the Federal Housing Administration’s housing policies created the segregated system of housing as we know it. The FHA made homeownership accessible to White people by guaranteeing their loans, but explicitly refused to back loans to Black people or even other people who lived near Black people. FHA and its other actors’ (lenders, realtors, insurers, etc.) Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever Black people lived.
Frederick Babcock and Homer Hoyt are credited with establishing the first Underwriting Manual for FHA. The Manual promoted racial segregation touting the use of racially restrictive covenants to guarantee the most “favorable condition” for neighborhoods. The Manual stated that deed restrictions should include a “prohibition of the occupancy of properties except by the race for which they are intended,” and that “inharmonious racial groups” and “incompatible racial elements” would cause the devaluation of a neighborhood.
Commonly referred to simply as the “Green Book” it was an annual, segregation-era guidebook for African-American motorists, published by Hackensack, New Jersey letter carrier turned New York travel agent Victor H. Green between 1936 and 1966. During the Jim Crow era road trips for African- Americans were fraught with dangers in the overtly racist context of racial segregation, racial profiling by police as well as the general White population, the common phenomenon of travelers “disappearing,” and the existence of numerous sundown towns.
The 1943 immigration laws established a quota on Chinese immigrants (105 a year), which was not lifted until the 1965 Immigration Act.
Upon realizing that separate does NOT mean equal, the courts overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson and outlawed school segregation.
Executive Order 11063: Titled “Equal Opportunity in Housing” and issued by President Kennedy prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or use of all residential property that was owned, operated, or financed by the federal government. It had little impact because it did not provide for enforcement.
Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Civil Rights Act is a landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
This act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting.
Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 is a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which struck down all state laws banning interracial marriage.
Following nationwide “race riots” that had been occurring in Black and Latino neighborhoods between 1965 and 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed what is now popularly known as the Kerner Commission on July 27, 1967, formally known as the National Advisory Commission
on Civil Disorders.
His murder is the impetus for further rioting and unrest leading to the passage of the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
President Johnson signed into law the Fair Housing Act of 1968 as a way to urge unity and peace and quell racial tensions. The law prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin.
Jones v. Mayer. A landmark United States Supreme Court case which held that Congress could regulate the sale of private property in order to prevent racial discrimination.
Trafficante v Metropolitan Life Insurance, The U.S. Supreme Court offered important judicial guidance on interpreting the Fair Housing Act, ruling that current tenants in a large apartment complex had standing to sue their landlord for discrimination against minority applicants; it also established four tenets of statutory construction: (1) the statute should be construed broadly; (2) integration is an important goal of the FHA; (3) courts may, in appropriate cases, rely on case law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (prohibiting discrim- ination in employment) to help interpret the FHA; and (4) HUD interpretations of the FHA are entitled to substantial weight.
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act was the first disability civil rights law to be enacted in the United States. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance and set the stage for enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Sex is added as a protected status to the Fair Housing Act.
Hills v. Gautreaux. The Supreme Court ruled HUD can be ordered to adopt a housing assistance plan that ignores municipal boundaries. After knowingly funding the Chicago Housing Authority’s racially discriminatory housing program, HUD was ordered to alleviate the effects of these past practices by developing public housing in desegregated neighborhoods. As a result, eligible families were given Section 8 housing vouchers, which they used to pay for private rental apartments in neighborhoods less than 30% African-American.
Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman. This case was brought by a group of complainants, including a prospective renter, two testers, and a fair housing organization. This landmark Supreme Court decision provided standing to both testers and fair housing organizations, and ultimately leading to the re-invigorations/formation of scores of private groups. The Court held that fair housing organizations had standing to sue because the owner’s racial steering practices impaired the fair housing organizations’ ability to provide housing counseling and referral services.
Shellhammer v. Lewallen (6th Circ.) Shellhammer was the first federal case to hold that sexual harassment in housing violates the FHA. The owner of the tenant’s building asked her to pose for nude photos. When she refused, she and her husband were evicted. The district court found the eviction was in response to the tenant’s rejection and the owner’s conduct constituted quid pro quo sexual harassment.
U.S. v. Yonkers (2nd Cir.) A landmark decision simultaneously finding that Yonkers and Yonkers Public Schools intentionally segregated housing and schools, based on race, for 40 years. This case was unique because it merged housing and school desegreg- ation claims on the assumption that housing segregation is at the core of school segregation.
Founded and headquartered in Washington DC, the NFHA is the only national organization dedicated solely to ending discrimination in housing.
Under President Reagan, the amendment extends protection to families with children (familial status) and to persons with physical and mental disabilities and endowed the law with powerful enforcement mechanisms.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101) is signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.
Since 1994 IFHC has filed more than 168 design and construction complaints, likely the main factor in motivating the Idaho legislature to incorporate the International Building Code requirements into the statewide building code to ensure that new covered multi-family housing complies with the FHA’s design and construction requirements.
Olmstead v. L.C. The Olmstead case was brought by two women with disabilities who were institutionalized and denied access to housing in the community.
Department of Housing and Urban Development issued guidance for making sure people who are Limited English Proficient have access to critical housing services. “Final Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons,” 72 Fed. Reg. 2732.
The National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity issues a fair housing report. Chaired by Henry Cisneros and Jack Kemp, the commission issued “The Future of Fair Housing” report, which detailed the findings of a national, bipartisan fair housing commission to investigate the state of housing discrimination and segregation 40 years after passage of the Fair Housing Act.
Signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act clarified and broadened the term “disability.”
U.S. ex rel. Anti-Discrimination Center v. Westchester County. The importance of local and state government fair housing compliance was made evident with a landmark $62.5 million settlement. Westchester promised to integrate the predominantly White Westchester County and failed to do so while certifying it was while receiving HUD and other federal funds.
In 2009 hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity are included as punishable by federal law.
February 3, 2012, Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportu- nity issued a regulation to prohibit LGBT discrimination in federally-assisted housing programs. The new regulations ensure that the Department’s core housing programs are open
to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. In the United States at least 22 states and many major cities have enacted laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
USDA, “Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding the Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” 79 Fed. Reg. 70,771. Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP),” the guidance clarifies the obligations of entities that receive federal financial assistance from USDA. It provides guidance for USDA recipients in meeting their existing obligations to provide meaningful access for LEP persons.
Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project. In Texas the Supreme Court upheld the government’s obligation to affirmatively further fair housing when policies result in disparate impacts. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision written by Justice Kennedy, upheld the disparate impact doctrine under the Fair Housing Act. This precedent-setting opinion affirmed both 40 years of legal jurisprudence and the decisions of 11 U.S. appellate courts in holding that disparate impact is cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that states must license and recognize same-sex marriages. Consequently, same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands.
HUD’s Office of General Counsel issues criminal background guidance concerning how the Fair Housing Act applies to the use of criminal history by providers or operators of housing and real-estate related transactions. Specifically, this guidance addresses how the discriminatory effects and disparate treatment methods of proof apply in Fair Housing Act cases in which a housing provider justifies an adverse housing action—such as a refusal to rent or renew a lease—based on an individual’s criminal history which disproportionately affects people of color and people with disabilities.
The FHA protects community members regardless of alienage based on the seven protected classes. Immigration policies toward migrants, asylum seekers, non-citizens, DACA community members, and people affected by the Muslim Ban have created a discriminatory and hostile environment toward community members based on national origin and religion in our communities.
The FHA has continued to receive a broad and expansive interpretation of its protections by the courts throughout 50 years of existence.
Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Orin Hatch(R-UT) introduced a bipartisan bill, Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2018 to add protection for Veterans and Low-Income Families from housing discrimination.