Today, we commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act — a landmark law that guarantees that all people in America have the right to obtain the housing of their choice, free from discrimination. The importance of this law cannot be overstated, but we have far to go to meet its full promise.
Many neighborhoods across the country remain as segregated today as they were 55 years ago. Disparities in homeownership rates by race and ethnicity persist, and the racial wealth gap is wider now than it was when the Fair Housing Act was passed.
A fair housing market is critical to the fulfillment of the American dream. That is why, as Senator, I was proud to co-sponsor the 1988 Fair Housing Act amendments that extended the law’s protections to Americans with disabilities and families with children. During the Obama-Biden Administration, we instituted the first historic rule to implement the Fair Housing Act’s requirement to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. And during the first week of the Biden-Harris Administration, I directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fully implement that rule after it was weakened during the prior administration, and I am proud the proposed rule was published this past January. Additionally, my administration made clear in 2021 that the Fair Housing Act guards against discrimination targeting LGBTQ+ Americans.
As we celebrate the ways in which the Fair Housing Act has empowered millions of Americans with a fair shot at accessing housing opportunities over the last 55 years, let’s continue the work to ensure everyone has free and fair housing choice. Let’s join together to make the American dream a reality for all Americans.