Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Emergence of Exploitative Contract Selling, Part 4: The Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 are two key acts of federal legislation that were passed to combat various discriminatory housing practices around the country.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968, also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1968, one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  It was the final piece of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s, and came from the recommendations of the Kerner Commission, which stated that residential segregation was the primary cause for urban unrest, only after the rioting following Martin Luther King’s assassination.1  The Fair Housing Act made illegal the discriminatory practices of redlining, racial covenants, and blockbusting that resulted in segregation.  It prohibits discrimination in the sale and rental of housing by landlords, real estate companies, banks, lending institutions, and insurance companies on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.  Sex, disability, and familial status were included in later amendments.2  The Civil Rights Act of 1866 had prohibited discrimination in housing, but there were no enforcement provisions until 1968 with the creation of HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.3 

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was passed to ensure banks make credit available to all parts of the communities they serve, including low- to moderate-income, and minority communities.4  Banks would accept deposits from African Americans, but then refused to extend credit to those families because they were in "redlined" neighborhoods.  The CRA was passed to promote banking services in these communities and to move private funds back into urban neighborhoods.  Gale Cincotta, of Chicago’s National People’s Action, led the fight to pass the CRA through Congress and enforce it.5  The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975 was passed to collect data and ensure disclosure, and the CRA was passed to use that data to implement policy.  The two were meant to work together.  It was Gale Cincotta’s belief and efforts to get these acts of legislation passed to improve the lending conditions in urban neighborhoods.

Emergence of Exploitative Contract Selling, Part 1: An Introduction  

Emergence of Exploitative Contract Selling, Part 2:  Restrictive Covenants and Real Estate Boards

Emergence of Exploitative Contract Selling, Part 3: The Federal Housing Administration

“Kerner Report”. Wikipedia.
2 “1968: Federal Fair Housing Act”. bostonfairhousing.org.
3 “The Fair Housing Act of 1968”. legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com.
4 “Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)”. occ.gov.
5 “Community Reinvestment Act”. Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment