According to the National Fair Housing Alliance, an estimated 4 million instances of housing discrimination occur nationwide each year.
This month marks the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law on April 11, 1968. The Fair Housing Act protects home and property buyers and renters from being discriminated against based on race, color national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and familial status.
The act was passed as part of the Civil Rights Act, which expanded protections from discrimination on multiple fronts.
This legislation was then expanded in 1988 to include protections for both individuals with disabilities as well as familial status (families with children and pregnant women).
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (an agency of HUD) is responsible for administrating and enforcing the provisions of the Fair Housing Act.
Although instances of housing discrimination still occur today, this month is an annual observance meant to bring awareness and education to the issue.