Celebrating 56 Years of the Fair Housing Act

On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon B Johnson signed into law the Fair Housing Act, marking a pivotal moment in the fight for civil rights. This landmark legislation made discrimination in housing illegal, with Johnson declaring that “fair housing for all – all human beings who live in this country – is now a part of the American way of life.”

This Act, in its current form, protects individuals from discrimination when buying, renting, or securing financing for housing.

Today, 56 years later, housing advocates continue the battle for fairness in housing, striving to uphold the principles of the Fair Housing Act.

Initially, the Act safeguarded against discrimination based on five characteristics: sex, race, color, religion, and national origin. In 1988, it was amended to include disability and family status as protected classes. Different states and regions have personalized this list to fit their needs. North Carolina further extended these protections by adding several additional characteristics, including:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Citizenship status
  • Age
  • Military status or service.

This means that individuals cannot be discriminated against due to any of these factors when seeking housing in various settings, including group homes, apartments, single-family homes, migrant housing, shelters, or long-term transient lodging.

While the Fair Housing Act represents progress, we still have work to do to ensure its effective implementation. In 2022, there were a staggering 33,007 reports of housing discrimination – the highest number of complaints received in a single year to date.

Thrive’s Housing Program

At Thrive, we strive to secure safe and permanent housing for everyone. If you or someone you know is currently experiencing homelessness, please check out the details of our housing program and reach out to us at 828-697-1581 to join our by-name waitlist.

We also invite landlords interested in making a positive impact in the community to partner with Thrive. Click here to review our Landlord Information Booklet.

Join us in commemorating 56 years of the Fair Housing Act and our ongoing commitment to creating inclusive and equitable housing opportunities for everyone.