Commemorating Fair Housing Month

Each April, the nation recognizes Fair Housing Month to mark the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the landmark federal law that bans housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status. Earlier this month, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan launched this year's commemoration of Fair Housing Month at an event featuring the new film "A Matter of Place," which documents three personal stories of housing discrimination in New York City.

Underwritten by a grant provided under HUD's Fair Housing Initiative Program, the film profiles three examples of housing discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and source of income, and features commentary from legal experts, civil rights advocates, and fair housing testers.

In addition to federal fair housing requirements, the law in approximately 20 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities, towns, and counties across the nation also prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families. In addition, 12 states and the District of Columbia, as well as several counties and municipalities protect persons against housing discrimination based on their source of income.

"This month is an opportunity to recommit to the principle that fair housing is an essential part of everything we do; every grant we make; every building we build; and every community we work with," Secretary Donovan said in a statement. "And we will go to the mat in order to ensure the right of every American to fair housing. Although the times have changed, our commitment to this work remains as strong as ever. It is at the core of our mission."

As public officials and fair housing organizations redouble efforts to crack down on housing discrimination, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your community complies with all federal, state, and local fair housing requirements. You can reduce your risk of expensive fines or lawsuits from fair housing violations with a subscription to Fair Housing Coach, a digital training resource with clear, plain English explanations of the law together with helpful case study examples to share with staff. If you’re not already a subscriber, consider taking advantage of our 20 percent discount offer, available through April 30, here.