Housing Discrimination

November 6, 2015 • Volume 25, Issue 40
Should government do more to reduce residential segregation?
By Kenneth Jost


Demonstrators protest Wells Fargo's mortgage lending practices (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
Demonstrators protest Wells Fargo's mortgage lending practices at its headquarters in San Francisco on April 23, 2013. The previous year the bank agreed to pay $175 million to settle charges that its practices were discriminatory. Many experts say minority communities were flooded with subprime loans during the housing bubble and were hit hardest by foreclosures when the bubble burst. (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

Almost 50 years after enactment of the Fair Housing Act, racial segregation in housing persists in the United States, in large cities and suburbs alike. Fair-housing advocacy groups blame the federal government for lax enforcement of the law and state and local housing agencies for limited efforts to disperse affordable housing into predominantly white neighborhoods. They also cite federal studies and court cases that show continuing discrimination against African-Americans, in particular by mortgage bankers, landlords and real estate brokers. The Supreme Court cheered fair-housing advocates with a decision in June endorsing broad application of the law against policies that have a “disparate impact” on minorities. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) followed with a rule aimed at requiring communities to do more to advance fair-housing policies, but local resistance may slow those efforts. Meanwhile, complaints of housing discrimination against individuals with disabilities now account for a majority of the cases HUD receives each year.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 23, 2022  Homelessness Crisis
Apr. 02, 2021  Evictions and COVID-19
Mar. 02, 2018  Affordable Housing Shortage
Nov. 06, 2015  Housing Discrimination
Feb. 20, 2015  Gentrification
Apr. 05, 2013  Homeless Students
Dec. 14, 2012  Future of Homeownership
Dec. 18, 2009  Housing the Homeless
Nov. 02, 2007  Mortgage Crisis Updated
Feb. 09, 2001  Affordable Housing
Jan. 06, 1989  Affordable Housing: Is There Enough?
Oct. 30, 1981  Creative Home Financing
Nov. 07, 1980  Housing the Poor
Dec. 21, 1979  Rental Housing Shortage
Nov. 24, 1978  Housing Restoration and Displacement
Apr. 22, 1977  Housing Outlook
Sep. 26, 1973  Housing Credit Crunch
Aug. 06, 1969  Communal Living
Jul. 09, 1969  Private Housing Squeeze
Mar. 04, 1966  Housing for the Poor
Apr. 10, 1963  Changing Housing Climate
Sep. 26, 1956  Prefabricated Housing
Sep. 02, 1949  Cooperative Housing
May 14, 1947  Liquidation of Rent Controls
Dec. 17, 1946  National Housing Emergency, 1946-1947
Mar. 05, 1946  New Types of Housing
Oct. 08, 1941  Rent Control
Aug. 02, 1938  The Future of Home Ownership
Sep. 05, 1934  Building Costs and Home Renovation
Nov. 20, 1933  Federal Home Loans and Housing
Nov. 17, 1931  Housing and Home Ownership
Civil Rights: African Americans
Domestic Issues
Economic Development
Fair Housing and Housing for Special Groups
Low Income and Public Housing
Mortgage Loans and Home Finance
Segregation and Desegregation
Supreme Court History and Decisions