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Commemorating the Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

Location: Washington, DC

COMMEMORATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE FAIR HOUSING ACT -- (House of Representatives - April 15, 2008)


Mr. WATT. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 1095, the resolution recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

The Fair Housing Act, title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in April of 1968, only 1 week after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King.

This landmark act, the primary purpose of which is to prohibit discrimination in housing, introduced meaningful Federal enforcement mechanisms for buyers and renters. The Federal Housing Act initially prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion and national origin. Sex was subsequently added to the list of protected classes in 1974, and disability and family status were added in 1988.

Forty years later, in 2008, effective and meaningful enforcement of these fair housing laws continues to be critically important. It is essential that we continue to combat housing discrimination, which still exists today, not just by enacting laws, but by enforcing those that we have on the books already.

This is a meaningful piece of legislation, and I'm honored to pay tribute to the importance of it, but more importantly, to pay tribute and to recognize that enforcement continues to be a problem, and that discrimination in housing continues to exist.

With that, I thank the gentleman for the time.


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