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Fair Housing Act Turns 50 Years Old

In April of 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the nation’s Fair Housing Act. This federal legislation protects individuals and families from discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing based upon race, religion, sex or national origin. During the past 50 years, the law has been expanded to include disabilities and lifestyle.

As professionals who practice real estate, you know intimately, the value of homeownership and the opportunity it brings in building family wealth and securing neighborhoods.

The spirit of the Fair Housing Act is embodied in the National Association of REALTORS®, (NAR) Code of Ethics.  NAR also authorizes sanctions if a member violates any fair housing law, including local and state laws. According to NAR, “…fair housing is more than a list of do’s and don’ts, rights and penalties, and mandatory continuing education. As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as REALTORS® and depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity. Fair Housing Makes US Stronger.”

NAR is joining in a year-long commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. The commemoration will focus on three key elements of Fair Housing:

  • Acknowledging the organization’s past role in the fight for fair housing;
  • Understanding how we as a nation are constantly improving our commitment to fair housing; and
  • Embracing REALTORS®’ role at the forefront of advancing fair housing, leading efforts to address community fair housing issues.
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