Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971973 | Print ISBN: 9781412914321 | Online ISBN: 9781412971973| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fair housing policy is a product of the American civil rights movement. Prior to the 1960s, American laws promoted segregation and discrimination in the housing market. Although the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution granted equal protection of the laws to Anglos and African Americans, segregationists argued that these provisions did not prevent the government from separating the races, hence “separate but equal.” In response, civil rights proponents noted that access to resources, such as adequate housing, was not distributed equally, and, in turn, the races were separate but not equal, rendering the laws unconstitutional. Anglo communities populated good neighborhoods, and minorities inhabited bad neighborhoods. Moreover, with the expansion of Anglo suburbanization and urban decline after World War II, the polarization of housing opportunity grew. Predominately African American and Latino communities were left behind in the urban centers, where the built environment suffered from public and private disinvestment. Consequently, removing ...