As the Hammond Human Relations Commission, we are proud to celebrate the month of April as Fair Housing Month. This month serves as an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in promoting fair housing practices and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that everyone has equal access to housing opportunities.
Fair Housing Month has its roots in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, which fought against discrimination in all areas of life, including housing. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was signed into law, making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability when renting, buying, or financing a home.
Despite the progress made over the past several decades, fair housing issues still exist today. One of the most pressing issues is the persistence of housing segregation, which perpetuates racial and economic inequality. Many communities remain racially and economically segregated, leading to unequal access to resources and opportunities such as quality schools, healthcare, and job opportunities.
Additionally, discrimination in the housing market can take many forms, including steering, redlining, and unequal lending practices. These practices deny housing opportunities to individuals based on their race, religion, or other protected characteristics. It is essential that we remain vigilant in addressing these issues and continue to work towards a more just and equitable society.
To learn more about fair housing and what you can do to promote fair housing practices in your community, there are many resources available. We will be hosting a “Know Your Rights Training” on April 27, 2023 at 5:30pm via Zoom in English and in Spanish at 6:30pm for free. We encourage all Hammond residents and community leaders to attend this session. Please register here.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides information and resources on fair housing laws and regulations, as well as tools for reporting housing discrimination. Local fair housing organizations and community groups may also offer education and advocacy resources. Additionally, individuals can educate themselves on the history and current state of fair housing issues through books, articles, and documentaries.
As we celebrate Fair Housing Month, let us remember the importance of promoting fair housing practices and ensuring that everyone has equal access to housing opportunities. Together, we can work towards a future where every person has a safe, affordable, and fair place to call home.