The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin or sex. Intended as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the bill was the subject of a contentious debate in the Senate, but was passed quickly by the House of Representatives in the days after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The Fair Housing Act stands as the final great legislative achievement of the civil rights era.
Struggle for Fair Housing
Despite Supreme Court decisions such as Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and Jones v. Mayer Co. (1968), which outlawed the exclusion of African Americans or other minorities from certain sections of cities, race-based housing patterns were still in force by the late 1960s. Those who challenged them often met with resistance, hostility and even violence.