Year-long educational campaign created to inform public of their housing rights
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968 – seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Though it has been the law since 1968, a significant number of people still do not know their rights under the Fair Housing Act. The National Fair Housing Alliance wants to change that.
On Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) announced the launch of #FHAct50, a year-long campaign to educate the American public about the importance of the Fair Housing Act, advocate for strengthened fair housing policies, and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the law.
“This is extremely concerning because many aspects of our lives are connected to the neighborhoods in which we live, including access to quality jobs, healthcare, financial services, and education,” said Shanna Smith, NFHA’s President & CEO. The Fair Housing Act works to ensure that everyone has equal and fair access to housing and that all neighborhoods are places of opportunity. The Fair Housing Act protects people based on race, color, sex, religion, familial status, national origin, and disability.
Over four million instances of housing discrimination occur annually but only about 28,000 instances are officially reported each year. This is largely because many people do not realize that they have been discriminated against. Also, many people do not know what steps to take when they do face housing discrimination. The #FHAct50 Campaign seeks to make more consumers, renters, and home buyers aware of their rights. The campaign also seeks to educate members of the housing industry about the benefits of the Fair Housing Act and how the law can be used to grow business opportunities.
Gale King, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Nationwide, is serving as one of three co-chairs for the campaign.
“Dr. King, one of our nation’s most ardent champions for fair housing, admonished Americans to develop and implement an ‘action program’ to advance equal housing opportunities. We at Nationwide are helping to carry out Dr. King’s wishes because we recognize that it is the right thing to do. We also recognize that our business community is strengthened by advancing the principles of fair housing because strong neighborhoods and communities make strong businesses,” said Gale King.
The #FHAct50 Campaign will feature regional forums, a national conference, the re-release of the short film Seven Days, and other events hosted by NFHA and its partners across the country. Each event is designed to discuss current and future challenges and to develop strategies to expand equal housing opportunities. Attendees will also have the opportunity to join NFHA to help advance efforts to broaden access to fair housing. A calendar of #FHAct50 events can be accessed here.
Additionally, the #FHAct50 Campaign will feature a series of public service announcements developed in partnership with Nationwide and other businesses. The PSAs, which will be featured in a variety of publications, will inform the public about their fair housing rights, and provide information on how to report housing discrimination.
To learn more about the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, visit the official web site – www.FHAct50.org