If Secretary Carson attempts to roll back fair housing protections, we will let you know HOW TO fight back
April 1st marked the beginning of Fair Housing Month, a month where we commemorate the passage of the Fair Housing Act, its deep connection to the Civil Rights Movement, and the profound ways in which it affects our communities to this day.
It is also an opportunity to redouble our efforts to fight housing discrimination in its many forms.
The Fair Housing Act both outlaws housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin, and requires affirmative efforts to overcome racial segregation and exclusion. The legislation was contentious at the time, and it took the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to catapult passage of the law just seven days later.
Over the years, we’ve built on Dr. King’s legacy as protections under the Fair Housing Act have been strengthened. In recent years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency charged with the implementation of the law, has provided important new tools and resources to communities to help them meet their obligation to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing.
And HUD clarified through important new rule-making that you can’t face discrimination just because of who you love or your gender identity. This is a critical protection given that one in five transgender people in the U.S. has been discriminated against when seeking a home, and more than one in ten have been evicted because of their gender identity.
Today, because of these protections under the Fair Housing Act, any person who feels they have been a victim of housing discrimination can file a complaint with HUD. Yet it is estimated that each year more than 4 million acts of discrimination occur in the rental market alone, and Americans report only a small fraction of these acts.
Now is the time to fulfill Dr. King’s vision and root out all discrimination in housing. But can we really expect Secretary Ben Carson to do that?
- A man who compared the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule to a “mandated social-engineering scheme”?
- A man who once compared homosexuality to murder and marriage equality to beastiality and pedophilia?
- A man who doesn’t seem to understand that the local housing investments he is praising on his “listening tour” were funded out of the very HUD programs that his boss proposes to eliminate?
Can Secretary Carson be trusted to uphold one of our most sacred civil rights laws?
Based on his record, we doubt it.
If Secretary Carson attempts to roll back fair housing protections we will let you know how to fight back. To stay informed on the latest developments like CarsonWatch on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. And stay tuned this month to learn more about the civil rights struggle facing our generation. We will also keep you up to speed on #fairhousing, 2018 budget talks, and Ben Carson’s #CarsonListeningTour.