April 4, 2018

Fighting for Fair Housing

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Little girl on map of United States

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act becoming law. Throughout the year, Enterprise will highlight important milestones in the ongoing fight for fair housing nationwide, including persistent roadblocks, successful tools and inspiring stories. 

In 1968, days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. which we commemorate today, President Lyndon Johnson signed landmark civil rights legislation prohibiting housing discrimination – a barrier that Dr. King and millions of others knew stood in the way of ending a “separate but equal” America.

In the 50 years since April 11, 1968, we have witnessed both continued barriers and incredible progress in the battle for every American to choose their home free from discrimination.

Our communities still bear the legacy of decades of discriminatory practices, like redlining, predatory lending and “racial steering” toward or away from certain neighborhoods. As a result, we see a dramatic disparity between predominantly white neighborhoods and areas with significantly higher percentages of people of color – not just in housing, but in access to opportunity afforded by good schools, jobs, transit and other resources necessary for upward mobility. And, we know the unfortunate truth that our zip code is far too determinant of our chances in life.

Through our website, Facebook, Twitter, emails and other means, like this short video from Laurel Blatchford or this one from Keith Fairey, Enterprise will show how our work with our partners is moving the country closer to making affordable, well-designed homes available to everyone, in neighborhoods that are diverse, thriving and connected to opportunity. We’ll provide information on proven programs and approaches to bring more resources to our communities, encourage revitalization in distressed areas and give families the option to move to neighborhoods where opportunity is already prevalent.

Enterprise’s commitment to fair housing started with our founder Jim Rouse and lives at the heart of our mission. I look forward to sharing our work, hearing your stories and working together to empower all Americans through opportunity, starting with a place to call home.

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