Fair Housing History of Idaho

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.

  • The Treaties of 1863 and 1868

    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.

    The 1863 and 1868 treaties involving the Boise Valley People and the United States were unratified. The Fort Bridger treaty remains the basis for the government-to-government relationship between the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the United States.


  • January 29, 1863, Bear River Massacre

    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.”


  • 1860s-1880s, Chinese Presence in Early Idaho

    “America wouldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for the Chinese, because the railroads opened up the country.”

    Linda Jew, Great Granddaughter of Chin Lin Sou, A Chinese Miner who Immigrated to America in the 1800s

    Chinese were among the thousands of miners who came to Idaho for gold, discovered in the fall of 1860 in Pierce. By the 1870 Census, 28.5 percent of Idaho’s population was Chinese.

    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. Laws were enacted to prevent Chinese men from owning property, returning to the United States once they left, or bringing their wives and parents to the country with them. In 1886, a large Anti-Chinese convention was held in Boise and violent expulsion of Chinese people spread through the state.

    As it pertained to housing, Idaho history was rife with what would now be considered egregious violations of the Fair Housing Act. In 1883 when Lewiston’s Chinatown caught fire, the fire department refused to extinguish the flames until they were a threat to white-inhabited structures.

    National Miners Day was established in 2009 to remember miners who died working in the mines and to honor the hard work and commitment of today’s miners. We would be remiss to omit from Idaho’s history the mistreatment of Chinese miners in particular when observing this day.

  • The 1887 Agreement

    Reservation, created by Ulysses S. Grant through Presidential Executive Order in 1873.

  • The 1889 Agreement

    This agreement resulted in the transfer of the lands adjoining the Coeur d’ Alene Lake, Coeur d’ Alene River and St. Joe River, areas at the time still inhabited by the most traditional Schitsu’umsh people.

    Color photo of orange and brown houses surrounded by trees near the shoreline of Lake Hayden in northern Idaho.


  • 1896, Women’s Right to Vote

    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.

    Black and white portrait of Susan B. Anthony circa 1890. Anthony is a white woman with white hair pulled into a bun and she is wearing glasses. She is facing the camera.

  • February 19, 1942, Japanese Internment

    “It didn’t matter if you were a U.S. citizen, it didn’t matter if you were born as an American, all that mattered was that your skin color was dark… and therefore you were seen as a threat because of Pearl Harbor.”

    – Emily Tani-Winegarden, Grand Daughter of Tad and Yoshi Tani who were both Incarcerated at the Minidoka Internment Camp in Southern Idaho

    In one of the United States’ greatest Fair Housing violations, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 which sentenced nearly 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans to incarceration in internment camps for the following 2-4 years. Over two-thirds of the people of Japanese ethnicity who were incarcerated — almost 70,000 — were American citizens. Many of the rest had lived in the country between 20 and 40 years.

    No Japanese-American citizen or Japanese national residing in the United States was ever found guilty of sabotage or espionage.

    In December 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians concluded that the incarceration of Japanese Americans had not been justified by military necessity. The report determined that the decision to incarcerate was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

    Black and white photo of multiple generations of incarcerated Japanese Americans eating a meal in the Manzanar Internment Camp barracks. Photograph is circa 1942.


  • Idaho Fair Employment Practices Act

    In response to Anti-Mexican treatment, Idaho passed its first anti-discrimination law in 1961, the Idaho Fair Employment Practices Act.

  • March 15, 1969, Idaho’s Commission on Human Rights

    Idaho Commission on Human Rights was created in response to Anti-Mexican sentiment in Canyon County and elsewhere in the state.

  • April 7, 1969, Idaho Human Rights Act

    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.

  • 1972, Equal Rights Amendment

    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.

  • 1975, Indochinese Refugee Assistance Program

    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.

  • May, 1977, Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho

    The Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho (HCCI) was incorporated in May of 1977 and received its 501(c) (3) non-profit status in 1998.


  • 1987, Fair Housing Act Protects Against Racist Threats

    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.

  • 1994 to Present, Intermountain Fair Housing Council

    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

  • March 4, 1994, Occupancy Standards and Family Size

    Calderon v. Ed Madigan, Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Tilley, Administrator of Farm Home Administration, and the Wilder Housing Authority.

  • 1996, Turning Point, Inc v. Caldwell

    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.

  • September 2000, Judgement Against the Aryan Nation

    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 “.

  • June 18, 2001, Management of Lake Coeur d’Alene

    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.

  • September, 2003, Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho Opens

    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.

  • 2009, Defunding of the Idaho Women’s Commission

  • 2009, Fair Housing Prevails in Idaho

    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.

  • 2010, Add The Words

    The Civil Rights Group Add The Words begins advocating to add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho’s human rights act. As of 2024, the Idaho State Legislature has failed to do so.

  • 2011, Community House

    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.

  • July 20, 2011, Service Animal Deposits

    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.

  • August 2011, Return of the Boise Valley People

    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.

  • April 26, 2017, Hate Crime in Nampa

    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.


  • 2012 to 2018, Idaho’s Protections: Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

    Since 2012, Idaho has 14 cities and 2 counties that have enacted ordinances prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • April 5, 2019, Diamond House v. City of Ammon

    IFHC filed a claim on behalf of Diamond House that the City of Ammon, idaho had facially discriminatory zoning ordinances that prohibited group foster homes from certain residential Zones of the City but allowed group elder homes in those same zones.

    IFHC represented the Complainant in their federal court claim and won a motion for summary judgment that the policy was discriminatory on its face. The court enjoined the City from enforcing the policy.

    While the city filed an appeal, IFHC and the Complainant renewed settlement negotiations and were able to reach an agreement for $600,000.00 in damages to the Complainant and $57,000.00 In reasonable attorney’s fees.

    Source: https://ifhcidaho.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/2020-IFHC-Annual-Report-1.pdf


  • March 25, 2022, Idaho Senate Bill 1240

    In early 2022, the Idaho State Legislature unanimously passed Senate Bill 1240 which enjoyed wide support from both parties and had 21 cosponsors. The bill gave homeowners the ability to modify and remove race-based restrictive covenants. The bill also bans future discriminatory covenants on homes to prohibit discrimination. The bill also waives recording fees for those wanting to remove such language.

    Source: https://www.kmvt.com/2022/03/23/governor-little-signs-bill-remove-racially-restrictive-covenants-home-deeds/

  • September 15, 2023, Ekwealor v. Hubble Homes LLC

    In March of 2021 Somi Ekwealor, who is Black, and Jenna Ekwealor, who is multi-ethnic white and Latina, say their homeowners association, Charter Pointe, accused them of violating an association rule because they hung a Black Lives Matter flag by their front door. The Ekwealors allege that no such rule existed, but that afterward, the association then wrote a new rule aimed at them.

    When they asked for clarification, the association explained that it was developing a new rule, the complaint alleges. When the rule was implemented that September, it banned all flags except sports flags, the American flag, the Idaho flag, POW/MIA flags and official and replica flags of the U.S. armed forces.

    According to the complaint, the HOA intended the new policy to “limit the possibility of harassment or even an altercation … in hopes to promote a harmonious environment.” But after implementing the new rule, Somi Ekwealor said 20 flags or signs remained in the neighborhood. He said it seemed as though the HOA failed to enforce the rule on anyone else. The Ekwealors believe the new rule, like the original notice, was to prevent them from displaying their Black Lives Matter flag.

  • May, 2023, Arbor Village Decision by Boise City Council

    Arbor Village, a Boise assisted living facility, applied to convert the home of about 90 elderly residents into 77 apartments. Doing so requires a conditional use permit, which is subject to approval before the city. Despite its application, the company sent mixed messages about its plans to residents, telling some that it was a contingency plan and that they did not intend to redevelop the site, according to residents and family members testified at public meetings about the project.

    In October of 2022, the City Council found that correct notice had not been provided and required the owners to hold a new neighborhood meeting about the site. That sent it back to the Planning and Zoning Commission, which held a new public hearing in February of 2023.

    At that hearing, the commission imposed strict new conditions: If the owners chose to turn the site into apartments, it would need to give tenants a year of notice; identify new housing for each tenant and pay for relocation expenses; and be responsible for any higher difference in rent for three years.

    Intermountain Fair Housing Council also appealed the decision, arguing that the city did not adequately consider the impacts the proposed project would have on the vulnerable residents, many of whom have disabilities. IFHC said the city did not consider its local authority, multiple federal laws and “the city’s moral and ethical responsibility via its broad police powers to uphold the health, welfare and safety for the residents of Boise.”


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.

  • Before 5000 BCE, Precolonial Americas

    A map of the area now known as Idaho with overlapping ancestral Native territories of the Indigenous peoples who inhabited North America long before the land was colonized.

    Indigenous peoples lived in the Americas and what is currently called the United States as early as 5000 BCE. 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.

    At IFHC we recognize that these land grabs as well as the removal of people from their homes because of their race, religion, color, etc. are violations of the Fair Housing Act and therefore, the very first Fair Housing violation in the United States was the violent removal of Indigenous people from their land.

    📍 Lands of the Shoshone-Bannock, Nimiipuu, Lemhi-Shoshone, and Schitsu’umsh

    Find out whose land you are on: https://native-land.ca/


  • 1492, Colonization of the Americas

    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.

  • 1619, Slavery in the Americas

    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.

  • 1776, United States Gains Independence

    The United States became an independent nation despite the Indigenous nations that already existed within the Americas.

  • 1783, Treaty of Paris

    With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the British gave the Indigenous people’s lands to the U.S. government.

  • May 28, 1830, Indian Removal Act

    Under President Andrew Jackson, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act removing Indigenous people from their land and forcing them onto reservations throughout the 1800s.

  • February 19, 1942, Japanese Internment

    “It didn’t matter if you were a U.S. citizen, it didn’t matter if you were born as an American, all that mattered was that your skin color was dark… and therefore you were seen as a threat because of Pearl Harbor.”

    – Emily Tani-Winegarden, Grand Daughter of Tad and Yoshi Tani who were both Incarcerated at the Minidoka Internment Camp in Southern Idaho

    In one of the United States’ greatest Fair Housing violations, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 which sentenced nearly 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans to incarceration in internment camps for the following 2-4 years. Over two-thirds of the people of Japanese ethnicity who were incarcerated — almost 70,000 — were American citizens. Many of the rest had lived in the country between 20 and 40 years.

    No Japanese-American citizen or Japanese national residing in the United States was ever found guilty of sabotage or espionage.

    In December 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians concluded that the incarceration of Japanese Americans had not been justified by military necessity. The report determined that the decision to incarcerate was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

    Black and white photo of multiple generations of incarcerated Japanese Americans eating a meal in the Manzanar Internment Camp barracks. Photograph is circa 1942.


  • May 6, 1882, Chinese Exclusion Act

    Signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur, the Chinese Exclusion Act implemented mass discrimination against Chinese people and Chinese-Americans and prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers. The Act was not repealed until 1943.

  • 1863, Emancipation Proclamation

    Signed by President Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to all enslaved people held in states that had seceded from the Union.

  • March 8, 1865, The Freedman’s Bank

    Black and white snapshot of the Freedman's Bank BuildingAbolitionists 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. To support the land grants and other elements of the Freedman’s Bureau Act, President Lincoln established the Freedman’s Bank on March 8, 1865 so that formerly enslaved Black Americans might navigate their financial lives. President Lincoln was assassinated five weeks later.

    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.



  • May 9, 1865, An End to The Civil War

    President Andrew Johnson declares the Civil War over.

  • December 6, 1865, The Abolition of Slavery

    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.

  • 1865-1866, The Black Codes

    The Black Codes were laws passed by many states after the Civil War with the intent and the effect of restricting African- Americans’ freedom.

  • April 9, 1866, The Civil Rights Act

    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.

  • July 9, 1868, The Fourteenth Amendment

    The U.S. Constitution was amended, ratified in 1868, granting citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States, including former slaves, and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.” (See next panel for further info.)

  • January 1, 1872, Homestead Act Amended

    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.

  • January 1, 1874, Freedman’s Bank Closes

    Mismanagement and outright fraud by white senior leaders weakened the bank significantly. Politician Henry D. Cooke approved unsecured loans to his own business while on the bank’s board; he ultimately could not pay back the loans, went bankrupt, and the bank was devastated.

    In 1872 U.S. Congress voted to permanently close the Freedman’s Bureau. The Bank however remained operational and in March of 1874 Frederick Douglass became the last president of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company.

    In a desperate attempt to stabilize the Bank, Douglass invested $10,000 of his own money. Still, in June of 1874 the bank failed against the backdrop of the racially motivated political forces that undermined Reconstruction.

    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.

    On January 7, 2016, the Treasury Annex Building in Washington DC was publicly renamed The Freedman’s Bank Building by Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, in honor of the site where the Freedman’s Saving Bank once stood.

    “The failure of this bank has done more to harm the future of freed black slaves than 10 additional years of slavery.”

    Frederick Douglass, African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, statesman and President of the Freedmans Savings and Trust co

  • January 1, 1877, The Reconstruction Era Ends

    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.

  • May 18, 1896, Plessy v Ferguson (Separate But Equal)

    Plessy vs. Ferguson opened the door for institutionalized segregation known as the “separate but equal” doctrine that legalized segregation.

  • 1924, Prohibition of Integration

    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.”

  • June 2, 1924, Indigenous People Are Granted Citizenship

    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.

  • 1932, The Valuation Of Real Estate

    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.”

  • 1933, Racial Housing Hierarchy

    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).

  • June 13, 1933, The Home Loan Corporation

    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.”

  • June 27, 1934, The Federal Housing Administration

    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.

  • 1936, Promoting Racial Segregation

    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.

  • 1936, The Negro Motorist Green Book

    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.

  • 1943, Immigration Laws

    The 1943 immigration laws established a quota on Chinese immigrants (105 a year), which was not lifted until the 1965 Immigration Act.

  • 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education

    Upon realizing that separate does NOT mean equal, the courts overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson and outlawed school segregation.

  • 1962, Equal Opportunity in Housing

    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.

  • July 2, 1964, Civil Rights Act

    “My fellow citizens, we have come now to a time of testing. We must not fail. Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our nation whole.”

    President Lyndon B. Johnson

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. It was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

    One year prior, in a nationally televised address on June 6, 1963, former President John F. Kennedy had urged the nation to take action toward guaranteeing equal treatment of every American regardless of race.

    Kennedy then proposed that Congress consider civil rights legislation that would address voting rights, public accommodations, school desegregation, nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, and more.

    Despite Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963, his proposal culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law just a few hours after it was passed by Congress on July 2, 1964.

  • August 6, 1965, Voting Rights Act

    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.

  • June 12,1967, Federal Ruling Legalizing Interracial Marriage

    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.

  • July 28, 1967, Kerner Commission

    On July 28, 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson constituted the Kerner Commission to identify the genesis of the violent 1967 riots that killed 43 in Detroit and 26 in Newark while causing fewer casualties in 23 other cities.

    Many Americans blamed the riots on outside agitators or young Black men, who represented the largest and most visible group of rioters. But, in March 1968, the Kerner Commission turned those assumptions upside-down, declaring white racism—not Black anger—turned the key that unlocked urban American turmoil.

    “Commonly sparked by repressive and violent police actions, urban uprisings were political acts of self-defense and racial liberation on a mass, public scale. Legislative successes at the federal level with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were not reflected in the daily lives of African-Americans facing police misconduct, economic inequality, segregated housing, and inferior educations.”

    – William S. Pretzer, Senior Curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

  • April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Is Assassinated

    In February of 1968, two Black garbage collectors were crushed by a malfunctioning truck in Memphis. Frustrated by the city’s response to the latest event in a long pattern of neglect and abuse of its Black employees, 1,300 Black sanitation workers went on strike.

    The strikes continued for months and Dr. King visited multiple times to help organize non-violent protests and encourage compromise on the part of city officials. He was visiting Memphis at the time of his assassination on April 4, 1968.

    On April 8, an estimated 42,000 people (led by Coretta Scott King, union leaders and the Southern Christian Leaderships Conference) silently marched through Memphis in honor of King, demanding that the Mayor give in to the union’s requests.

    On April 16, Memphis City Council finally recognized the union and agreed to guarantee a better wage. Although the deal ended the strike, it was not until the union threatened to strike again several months later that the city ultimately followed through with its commitment.

    We recognize The Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strikes of 1968 as a foundational moment in the movement to combat what is now referred to as Environmental Racism.

    “Our society must come to respect the sanitation worker. He is as significant as the physician, for if he doesn’t do his job, disease is rampant.”

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., A Speech given to protestors and Striking sanitation workers at the mason temple in Memphis on march 23, 1968

  • April 11, 1968, The Fair Housing Act

    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.

  • June 17, 1968, Prevention of Racial Discrimination

    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.

  • December 7, 1972, Standing for Current Tenants

    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.

  • September 26, 1973, Rehabilitation Act

    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.

  • August 22, 1974, Sex as a Protected Class

    Sex is added as a protected status to the Fair Housing Act.

  • April 20, 1976, First Public Housing Desegregation Lawsuit in the U.S.

    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.

  • February 24, 1982, Standing for Fair Housing Organizations

    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.

  • January 1, 1985, Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

    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.

  • January 1, 1987, Segregation in Yonkers

    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.

  • January 5, 1988, The National Fair Housing Alliance

    Founded and headquartered in Washington DC, the NFHA is the only national organization dedicated solely to ending discrimination in housing.

  • September 13, 1988, The Fair Housing Amendments Act

    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.

  • July 26, 1990, Americans With Disabilities Act

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101) is signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.

  • 1994 to Present, Intermountain Fair Housing Council

    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.

  • June 22, 1999, Unjust Segregation

    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.

  • Jan. 22, 2007, HUD Guidance: Limited English Proficiency

    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.

  • December 5, 2008, The Future of Fair Housing Report

    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.

  • September 25, 2008, The ADA Amendments Act

    Signed into law by President George W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act clarified and broadened the term “disability.”

  • August 10, 2009, Anti-Segregation Settlement

    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.

  • 2009, Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act

    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.

  • November 28, 2014, Improving Access for Persons with Limited English Proficiency

    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.

  • June 5, 2015, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.​ ​

    On June 5, 2015, in a 5-4 split, the US Supreme Court held that disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.

    The Court reaffirmed the consistent finding of the federal courts over the past four decades that the Fair Housing Act bars not only intentional discrimination, but also policies that have an unwarranted disparate impact.

    Courts have consistently recognized that policies and practices that unnecessarily limit housing opportunities or otherwise perpetuate segregation because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status violate the Fair Housing Act.

  • June 25, 2015, Disparate Impact

    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.

  • June 26, 2015, Same Sex Marriage

    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.

  • September 1, 2015, Walter S. Mondale Addresses the National Fair Housing Training and Policy Conference

    Photo of Walter S Mondale, a white man with gray hair wearing a suit and tie
    Photo of Walter S. Mondale

    “This is the most important moment, I believe, for fair housing since 1968, and we must use it to maximum advantage. This summer, because of Inclusive Communities and HUD’s [AFFH] rule, we stand for the first time in nearly 50 years with new laws and new energy that can make a difference…that can attack these barriers effectively.”

    – Walter S. Mondale, remarks delivered at HUD’s National Fair Housing Training and Policy Conference, September 1, 2015.

    On April 5, 1968, the day after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, Walter Mondale, then one of the youngest members of the United States Senate, took the floor of the chamber and declared, “The foremost proponent of a nonviolent confrontation between the races is dead. His generosity to the white man, his belief in the basic goodwill of all men, and his dramatic, nonviolent action enabled him to speak to both races.” Mondale, then a 40-year-old Democrat had emerged as one of the chamber’s most ardent advocates for civil rights.

  • April 4, 2016, HUD Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions

    A housing provider violates the Fair Housing Act when the provider’s policy or practice has an unjustified discriminatory effect, even when the provider had no intent to discriminate. Under this standard, a facially-neutral policy or practice that has a discriminatory effect violates the Act if it is not supported by a legally sufficient justification.

  • 2017-2018, Immigration Policies

    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.

  • April 11, 2018, 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

    50 years. Celebrating equality. The Fair Housing Act. 1968-2018The FHA has continued to receive a broad and expansive interpretation of its protections by the courts throughout 50 years of existence.


  • May 2, 2018, Tripathi V. Murano Condominium Association

    A Hindu toran simlilar to the one at the center of the case of Tripathi V. Murano Condominium Association
    A Hindu toran

    A Hindu resident filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against a Philadelphia condo association. A Hindu symbol is at the heart of a Fair Housing lawsuit, continuing the latest trend of religious rights lawsuits involving HOAs and condominium associations.

    Source: https://independentamericancommunities.com/2018/05/07/former-u-of-penn-professor-files-religious-discrimination-lawsuit-against-philadelphia-condo-association/

  • November 13, 2018, Fair Housing Improvement Act

    The Fair Housing Improvement Act was introduced to the Senate by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The bill aimed to protect low income families and veterans from housing discrimination based on a person’s source of income and veteran status.

    Ten states and the District of Columbia already have non-discrimination protections for housing voucher holders. However, Fair Housing research indicates that this is not nearly adequate on a federal level.

    The Fair Housing Improvement Act (S.3612) was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in 2018 and has idled there with little activity ever since.

  • March 19, 2019, NFHA v Facebook

    The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Communications Workers of America (CWA), several regional fair housing organizations, and individual consumers and job seekers settled civil rights claims against Facebook.

    NFHA and the other plaintiffs asserted that Facebook’s advertising platform contained pre-populated lists that allowed advertisers to place housing, employment, and credit ads that could exclude certain groups protected by the Fair Housing Act, such as African Americans, Latinx, and Asian Americans.

    Because of the settlement, Facebook has agreed to establish a separate advertising portal for advertisers seeking to create housing, employment, and credit ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.

    Housing advertisers will no longer be allowed to target consumers based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, family status, disability, or sexual orientation. Housing advertisers will also be prevented from advertising based on ZIP code.

  • April, 2020, HUD Issues Statement on Covid-19 Pandemic

    “Every year, April is the time we honor history’s fair housing heroes and celebrate our nation’s civil rights progress. Though our national attention is now fiercely focused on overcoming the public health threat of COVID-19, the principle and promise of Fair Housing for All must still guide us,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “There’s a fair housing hero in all of us…in the kindness and care toward a vulnerable neighbor, in the compassion and empathy for those who have contracted the virus, in the celebration of the tireless caregivers serving on the front line of the disease, and in the simple sacrifice made by the rest of us to stay home, stay safe and slow the spread.”

    During this national emergency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to remind housing providers and the public at large of important federal fair housing laws that protect persons from discrimination, including harassment and intimidation, in housing and related services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. The Fair Housing Act and other federal, state, and local laws collectively prohibit discrimination in nearly all housing transactions and residential settings across the nation, including rental housing, nursing homes, permanent shelters, and other places where people live and receive services together.

    Source: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/FHEO/documents/secretary%20fh%20statement%20covid-19%204.3.20.pdf

  • May 25, 2020, Murder of George Floyd and Ensuing Protests

    Following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of several Minneapolis Police Officers, social justice groups including many Fair Housing organizations across the country issued statements on the intersection of police brutality and the civil rights act, of which the FHA is part. The Fair Housing Justice Center, based in NYC issued the following statement:

    “The Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) condemns the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Jamar Clark, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice and many others who have lost their lives through police violence. We stand in solidarity with all those around the world who protest for racial justice. We unequivocally believe that BLACK LIVES MATTER The violent mistreatment of Black people by the police and their disproportionate number of deaths from the COVID-19 virus glaringly reflect the deeper structural and institutional racism that afflicts our society in all aspects of life. Across the board, Black and Brown communities are over-policed and under-served, with unequal access to quality health care, nutrition, schools, jobs, and public transportation. African American home seekers still face significant barriers when searching for housing. New York City — heralded as a progressive bastion — ranks as the nation’s 3rd most residentially segregated area for African Americans and it has the most racially segregated school system in the nation.”

    Source: https://www.fairhousingjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/FHJC-Justice-for-Black-Lives-Statement.pdf

  • June 15, 2020, Bostock v Clayton County

    The plaintiff, Gerald Bostock, was fired from his county job after he expressed interest in a gay softball league at work. The lower courts followed the Eleventh Circuit‘s past precedent that Title VII did not cover employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. The case was consolidated with Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, a similar case of apparent discrimination due to sexual orientation from the Second Circuit, but which had added to a circuit split. Oral arguments were heard on October 8, 2019, alongside R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a similar question of Title VII discrimination relating to transgender persons.

    On June 15, 2020, the Court ruled in a 6–3 decision covering all three cases that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is necessarily also discrimination “because of sex” as prohibited by Title VII. According to Justice Neil Gorsuch‘s majority opinion, that is so because employers discriminating against gay or transgender employees accept a certain conduct (e.g., attraction to women) in employees of one sex but not in employees of the other sex.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bostock_v._Clayton_County

  • November 19, 2020, Apology from National Association of Realtors

    For the first time, NAR offers a full-on apology for racist practices of the past and vows to keep working to correct lasting inequities in housing. In 2018, during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, the National Association of REALTORS® laid bare its painful past in perpetuating housing discrimination across America. While the leadership team acknowledged at the time that the organization had been “on the wrong side of history” and vowed to work harder to treat all home buyers and sellers equitably, the sentiments stopped short of a full-on apology.

    Discriminatory practices weren’t just tolerated for many years—they were baked into the association’s guiding principles for much of the 20th century. This passage from the Code of Ethics, added in 1924, was revised over the years but not fully repealed until 1974:

    REALTORS® “should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood … members of any race or nationality, or any individuals whose presence will clearly be detrimental to property values in that neighborhood.”

    Source: https://www.nar.realtor/magazine/real-estate-news/commentary/an-apology-from-the-national-association-of-realtors

  • January 20, 2021, Executive Order 13985

    On his first day of office in January 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order banning discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, an Executive Order promoting racial equity, and a memorandum redressing the federal government’s history of discriminatory practices and policies. In Executive Order 13985, titled “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” President Biden also revoked President Trump’s Executive Order that prohibited, among other things, federal contractors from providing workforce diversity and anti-sexism and anti-racism training programs.

  • June 1, 2021, PAVE Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity

    On June 1, 2021, the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden announced the creation of an interagency initiative to combat bias in home valuations. President Biden directed the PAVE Task Force to (1) evaluate the causes, extent, and consequences of appraisal bias, and (2) establish a transformative set of recommendations to root out racial and ethnic bias in home valuations.

    PAVE is a first-of-its-kind interagency task force dedicated to ending discrimination in home valuations. The task force includes 13 federal agencies and offices and is chaired by Director of the Domestic Policy Council Ambassador Susan E. Rice and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge.

    Source: https://pave.hud.gov/

  • June 10, 2022, HUD’s Continued Guidance on Use of Criminal Records by Housing Providers

    On June 10, 2022, Demetria L. McCain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (“FHEO”) issued a memorandum setting out a detailed framework for the Office of FHEO, Fair Housing Assistance Programs (“FHAPs” and Fair Housing Initiatives Programs” to use in their investigation and analysis of whether criminal background screening policies comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”).

    Source: https://www.fairhousingnc.org/newsletter/hud-gives-further-guidance-on-criminal-background-screening/

  • September 15, 2022, Reyes v Waples Mobile Home Park

    On September 15, 2022 Relman Colfax filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of a coalition of civil rights organizations and non-profit housing providers in support of the Plaintiffs–Appellants in Reyes v. Waples Mobile Home Park (No. 22-1660). The case alleges discrimination claims on behalf of four Latino immigrant families who were forced from their homes when their landlord began enforcing a policy requiring all adult residents to provide documentation of legal immigration status.

    The appeal involved whether the defendants could show a “business necessity” for their policy of denying residents the ability to live in the park due to immigration status. The defendants had argued that they would be at risk of breaking a federal anti-harboring statute by allowing them to reside in their park, but the Court of Appeals firmly rejected that argument, finding that the statute did not apply in these circumstances. Simply renting does not constitute illegal “harboring” – which, the opinion notes, “makes good sense:”

  • November, 2022, DOJ Investigation of RealPage and YieldStar

    In November 2022, the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division opened an investigation into RealPage, which is accused of contributing to higher rent prices throughout the United States. The company’s Yield Star software uses an algorithm to “help landlords push the highest possible rents on tenants.” Civil rights groups are investigating them for redlining or restricting or giving worse terms (higher interest rates, fees) financial and other services to residents of area based on their race or other protected class.

    Source: https://www.propublica.org/article/yieldstar-rent-increase-realpage-rent

  • November 22, 2022, Adam Community Center v. City of Troy, et al. (E.D. Mich.) and United States v. City of Troy (E.D. Mich.)

    On November 15, 2022, the United States filed a statement of interest which explained that damages may be available to private litigants pursuing land use claims against municipal defendants under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”) because of the finding that Troy violated RLUIPA by (1) imposing an unjustified substantial burden on Adam Community Center’s exercise of religion in its effort to operate a mosque and (2) requiring places of worship to abide by more onerous zoning restrictions than places of nonreligious assembly.

    Source: https://www.justice.gov/crt/recent-accomplishments-housing-and-civil-enforcement-section

  • February 9, 2023, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”.

    In February 2023, HUD issued a proposed Affirmatively Further Fair Housing regulation for public comment. For the first time, the proposed rule provided for an administrative complaint procedure to enforce the AFFH requirement. Giving the public the ability to submit complaints to HUD in cases where a grantee, such as a local or state government, has failed to comply with the requirements of the AFFH rule, failed to comply with the commitments it has made under the rule, or has taken action materially inconsistent with its obligation to affirmatively further fair housing, is a critical provision that must be enforced by HUD.

  • February 21, 2023, Seattle Becomes First US City to Ban Caste Discrimination

    On February 21, 2023, the City of Seattle, Washington became the first U.S. city – or any U.S. jurisdiction for that matter – to add caste to its list of categories protected against discrimination. Caste system discrimination occurs when someone is excluded because of their castes’ social standing. Within a system that has such designations, people inherit their caste position through family descent. In the Hindu caste system, people are put into “varna” and “jati,” social groups within a strict hierarchy, passed down through family lines. Historically, these castes did not intermingle and caste carried the right to practice certain occupations.

  • March 17, 2023, Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard

    In March 2023, HUD issued the Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard, rescinding the 2020 rule governing Fair Housing Act disparate impact claims and restoring the 2013 discriminatory effects rule to institute a standard that is more consistent with how the Fair Housing Act has been applied in the courts and within HUD for more than 50 years.

  • April 11, 2023, The Fair Housing Act Turns 55

    2023 marked the 55th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, enacted by the Congress on April 11, 1968. The law has been amended several times over the years and now prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, families with children, and people with disabilities. Notwithstanding the passage of the federal law banning housing discrimination, and dozens of state and local ordinances, housing discrimination persists at high levels.

    33,007 fair housing complaints were filed in 2023, which was the highest number ever reported. The unequal financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with high demand and record shortages in housing for rent and for sale, have increased racial and ethnic disparities in the housing market. These factors have added to the worsening of the housing affordability crisis for many households.