This year commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the historic 1968 Fair Housing Act. On April 11, 1968 President Lyndon Johnson urged congress to approve the Fair Housing Act just one week following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a tribute to Dr. King’s legacy and commitment to civil rights. One of the Act’s central objectives was to prevent discrimination based on race in the sales or rental of housing. This historic Act has since empowered people from all races and ethnicities to pursue the dream of equal access to housing.
In 2002 President George W. Bush enhanced our nation’s commitment to equal housing opportunities for all by designating June as National Homeownership Month, with the goal of increasing minority homeownership in America by 5.5 million by the end of the decade.
REALTORS ® continue to work in every possible way to preserve and expand fair access to affordable housing and homeownership. We are educating homebuyers and homeowners in our communities about the housing market and the opportunities that are available to purchase a home. We are working with Congress to make the new FHA and conforming loan limits, mandated by the economic stimulus package, permanent so that Americans can access affordable financing “ no matter where they live. We also continue to push for a stronger, more flexible FHA program, to give more first-time homebuyers access to affordable and safe financing options. By spending time on areas like homeownership counseling, new FHA and conforming loan limit programs, avoiding predatory lending pitfalls, workforce housing initiatives, diversity and smart growth initiatives, REALTORS ® and consumers alike gain knowledge and become closer to achieving the ultimate goal of equal housing access for all.