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The 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and Current Status of the Act Today
Accusations have been brought against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary Ben Carson to pull back on enforcement of fair housing. Paula Johnson, a professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law offers insight on this issue and the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act that will be celebrated in April.
“It is outrageous to even fathom that the current secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken steps to remove the core function of this department – to enforce the law against segregation and exclusion and promote fair housing opportunities across the United States. Racial discrimination in rental, public, and private housing remains rampant in this country,” said College of Law Professor Paula Johnson.
“Housing security has a positive impact on future social and economic opportunities, while the lack of housing security can have deleterious effects on people’s health, social and economic well-being. Ben Carson, an African American himself, was given the opportunity for a safe and secure upbringing through the availability of public housing in Detroit. This makes his decision to have the Department of Housing and Urban Development rollback federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws almost incomprehensible, almost. No doubt Carson was encouraged by his boss, President Trump, who has his own personal history of housing discriminations against Blacks.”
“Racial segregation in American neighborhoods and schools are at pre-Brown v. Board of Education levels. Affordable housing is increasingly scant and homelessness has risen concomitantly. Black and Brown families bear the brunt of this discrimination and lack of housing opportunities. Housing is a basic human need, and one that a just, fair, and humane society would commit to providing for all citizens. To do otherwise, is base and inhumane at best” said Johnson.
“The Fair Housing Act turns 50 on April 11 and several lawsuits have already been filed in opposition to these efforts to dismantle the historic civil rights legislation. Rest assured there will be more suits to ensure equal rights for all citizens of this nation not just the ones judged worthy.”
Reporters looking to contact Prof. Johnson on this issue should contact Scott McDowell, Executive Director of Regional Strategic Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-826-0320.