April is Fair Housing Month

So what is Fair Housing?

In simple terms, it is NOT discriminating in the sale or rent of housing (or financing and appraisals) because of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

Unfortunately, it has been necessary over the years in the United States for laws to be passed at the federal level and in the states to get to where we are today in ellimination of discrimination practices in the country. I say “unfortunately” because it is a sad fact that it has been a fight since the United States became a country for diverse populations to NOT be given the same rights as White Caucasians.

I still remember Florida (where I was born and raised) in the 1950s and 1960s, there were Black neighborhoods and separate White neighborhoods. As late as in the 1960s, Black people had to ride on the back of the city buses in Jacksonville, Florida….and Black people could not go into stores and restaurants there either as late as in the 1960s. That is a whole other story!

Things are so much better now because of laws and because of mandated intergration in schools that started in the late 1960s. I am 70. People who are my age and older growing up in the south did not go to integrated schools. I never had a conversation with a Black person until I started attending college in the early 1970s. Busing children had started around 1968 in Jacksonville to integrate the schools. For integration of schools to happen, busing was necessary because neighborhoods were not integrated. There were Black neighborhoods and White neighborhoods.

It has only been about 50 years that anyone at all has reached adulthood (which I define as around 18 years old) in a lot of the United States who has NOT experienced living in segregated neighborhoods and going to segregated schools. Today, there are still some neighborhoods that people will refer to by race, but today, it is against the law to prohibit anyone of any race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin from living anywhere they choose to live that they can afford to live. Today MONEY is the discriminating factor that excludes people……MONEY is another story.

Personally, I believe discrimination in any format is WRONG! I have been licensed to sell real estate since July 2000. Over the years, I have refused listing properties for sellers who told me that they would not sell to anyone of a certain race…. That is a BIG red flag for me! I will not do it!

There are still people who are racist out there, and I will not work for them! It is WRONG!

So we still need the laws!

As a society, we still have work to do!

April’s FAIR HOUSING MONTH is a good time to learn about different cultures and to make friends with people who are of different races, religions, sexual orientations, national origins, and with people who have handicaps and/or disabilities.

The federal Fair Housing Act was signed into law in 1968. See the printable flyer below.

About Mary Kelly

Mary Kelly is a retired community college professor, a licensed real estate broker in the states of Florida and Georgia, and a writer. She has three masters' degrees and is an avid reader - mostly of non-fiction. Her areas of study and experience are in business, computer science, and education. She currently resides in Waycross, Georgia, and her home is truly furnished for the comfort and convenience of her dogs. She loves the outdoors and loves walking in parks along lakes and on beaches. And she is somewhat of a minimalist and doesn't value having a lot of possessions.
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