1957 December 5

New York City First in Nation to Pass Fair Housing Ordinance


On this day, New York City became the first city in the nation to pass a fair housing ordinance making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race.

Housing discrimination was not covered by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed into law on July 2, 1964. President John F. Kennedy signed a very limited executive order forbidding discrimination in some federally assisted housing on November 20, 1962. Congress finally passed a federal Fair Housing Law on April 11, 1968.

The Supreme Court affirmed and strengthened the 1968 Fair Housing Act in a crucial decision on June 25, 2015.

Learn more: John Yinger, Closed Doors, Opportunities Lost: The Continuing Costs of Housing Discrimination (1995)

Learn about housing discrimination at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights:

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