Marking the 43rd anniversary of the signing of the National Fair Housing Law, Kevin R. Smith, president and CEO of Community Ventures Corp., asked all seven regions of the state to recognize April as Fair Housing Month.
"Fair housing isn't a choice. It's the law," Smith said. "I urge all Kentuckians, homebuyers, renters, landlords and lenders to learn about their rights and responsibilities."
Established by Congress in 1968, the landmark civil rights law prohibits discrimination in the financing, rent or sale of any dwelling based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. In 1988, amendments to the Fair Housing Act expanded coverage to prohibit discrimination based on disability or familial status.
"Homebuyers and renters often don't realize they're being discriminated against and lose the opportunity of living in a home, apartment or neighborhood of their choice," stated Pam Russell, executive vice president of CVC Campbellsville. "This month we celebrate 43 years of accomplishments, but there is still much work to be done."
Every April, Fair Housing Month is celebrated to commemorate the passing of this important law, which protects people looking for housing from seller and landlord discrimination.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into effect Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, also known as the Fair Housing Act. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 not only expanded on previous laws, but also prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, disability and family status.
In the years just prior to the passing of the Housing Act, Congress failed to generate enough majority support for its passage. After the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, Johnson pushed Congress to finally pass the Housing Act as a memorial to King's commitment to civil rights.
On the first anniversary of the Act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development completed the Title VIII Field Operations Handbook and created a formal complaint process for those who believed their Title VIII rights had been violated. HUD has since then played a key role in enforcing and managing the Fair Housing Act.
For more information on filing a complaint, visit portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/housing_discrimination.
Community Ventures Corp. is headquartered in Lexington with offices in Campbellsville, Bowling Green, Frankfort, Henderson, Louisville and Paris. Interested parties may contact any of the offices or call (800) 299-0267 for immediate connection to their local office. More information may be found at www.communitycenturescorporation.org.