Ambassador Susan E. Rice Remarks to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act
As Prepared For Delivery:
Good afternoon. It’s a privilege to be here alongside Secretary Fudge, a true champion for fair housing, and Lee Porter, known as “The Mother of Fair Housing.”
Today is not just an opportunity to reflect on the past—the passage of the Fair Housing Act, 55 years ago.
It’s a call to action—to ensure that we fulfill its promise for generations to come.
The Fair Housing Act codified our commitment to ensuring that everybody is protected from housing discrimination.
Unfortunately, the discrimination that Mrs. Porter experienced in 1965 is something that persists to this day for far too many Americans.
That’s why, in President Biden’s first days in office, he demonstrated his commitment to fair housing, calling on federal agencies to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act.
During the pandemic, the White House worked closely with the Departments of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development to ensure that the eviction crisis did not have a disproportionate impact on households of color.
State, local, and Tribal governments made almost 11 million emergency rental assistance payments—46 percent of which have gone to Black households and 29 percent to Latino households.
Furthermore, on the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Domestic Policy Council and Department of Housing and Urban Development launched our PAVE Task Force to address racial bias in home appraisals.
Last year, we released an action plan with more than 20 initiatives to counter racial bias in the appraisal process.
The White House also established the Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights.
We’re working with agencies to raise awareness of and strengthen enforcement against algorithmic bias, which has a negative impact on background checks and screening reports, particularly for Asian, Black, and Latino renters.
And, we’re exploring ways to address source-of-income discrimination, which limits housing options for those who receive rental assistance.
The President and I are committed to pursuing this work with all of our federal partners and all of you here today.
Let’s make fair housing a reality for all.
Thank you for your critical work to advance fair housing.
I look forward to our ongoing partnership.