Honoring National Fair Housing Month

Friday, April 05, 2024 | 01:11pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                        

Honoring National Fair Housing Month 

(Nashville, TN – April 5, 2024)

Annually the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, national fair housing organizations, fair housing advocates and communities across the country celebrate April as Fair Housing Month. Fair Housing month is celebrated in April in honor of the passing of the Fair Housing Act.

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN. Since 1966, Dr. King advocated for fair housing as part of the Chicago Open Housing Movement. Fighting against lending discrimination, unsafe and unaffordable housing conditions, and segregation via Federal “Redlining”  practices, the movement saw fair housing as a pre-requisite for justice and equality for all. Although fair housing progressed in Chicago, it stalled in Congress.

Finally, in response to the tragedy of Dr. King’s death, President Lyndon Johnson marshaled his resources to speed up the Congressional approval of a national fair housing bill. On April 11, 1968, just seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in housing. While signing the act, President Johnson stated “Fair Housing for all, all human beings who live in this country, is now part of the American Way".

Under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Tennessee Human Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate based on one or more protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. 

To honor Fair Housing Month, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) will host the West Tennessee Fair Housing Summit on Monday, April 29, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. 3:30 p.m. CDT at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. In-person registration for the event is $100 and online registration is $50. To register for the Summit, visit here.

The West Tennessee Fair Housing Summit will be hosted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), West Tennessee Legal Services and the National Civil Rights Museum.

The Fair Housing Summit will feature several panel discussions on pressing fair housing issues including landlord-tenant rights, fair housing investigations, and fair lending. The Summit will also feature Mayor Paul Young of the City of Memphis as the Opening Speaker and Keynote Speaker, Roshun Austin, President and CEO of The Works, Inc.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is an independent state agency responsible for enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation and coordinates compliance with Title VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964.

For more information on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, you can visit www.tn.gov/humanrights. To learn more about the West Tennessee Fair Housing Summit, you can contact thrc.communications@tn.gov or call 800-251-3589.