The Fair Housing Act at 50
In 1968, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act (FHA), prohibiting discrimination in the housing market in a significant reversal from federal and local policies of the past. More recently, in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the scope of the law, ruling that the FHA also applies to policies that have a disparate impact on members of protected classes. Although illegal, discrimination and segregation persist half a century later, along with their resulting long-term economic impacts.
In recognition of this important anniversary, Penn IUR Faculty Fellows Vincent Reina and Susan Wachter guest co-edited Cityscape Volume 21, Number 1 entitled “Symposium: The Fair Housing Act at 50.” The series of articles gathered for this special publication cumulatively show the importance of the FHA and the many challenges that remain to truly achieve its original mandate. In addition to the Cityscape issue itself, Wachter and Reina also commissioned ”Race and Policy: 50 Years After the Fair Housing Act,” a series of commentaries, authored by prominent scholars and housing experts, in response to the specific articles included in the issue. The commentaries aim to further explore and debate this important topic.