Fair Housing Act
Rewriting, paraphrasing to flow with additional 5 pages added to original work. This will require adding an abstract in this portion of editing. Summarizing and synthesizing information along with the nature and scope of the information located. Future research-not clear in second half due to lack of time.
Part I occurs in class during session #6:
In class, you will be divided into small task groups.
1. Based on “The Breakfast Club” discuss a moment from group that you agree on is a
challenging one and would have benefited by intervention from a group worker.
You may also imagine a group that you would like to run with a specific population
and utilize an intervention that is typically helpful for that particular population (i.e.
mindfulness techniques for veterans with PTSD).
2. As a group, discuss what you think happened and why, and unpack some of the
BC (Breakfast Club): For example, when Bender discloses that he is being
physically abused at home and reveals the cigar burn scars that his father made, why
does your group think he disclosed that information? Or, why do you think the group
chose not to believe him? You might even consider what you might have done as a
group worker when the group accused him of lying.
HG (Hypothetical Group): Think of a common issue or symptom related to
this population and interventions for this population. Research the effective strategies
used for issues that might arise in this type of group (reliving trauma, having PTSD
3. Consider the group dynamics and then think of an intervention that you might have
made in the moment to address the needs of the group-as-a-whole. If your clinical
moment involves an individual, consider both the individual’s needs and the groupas-
4. Based on this proposed intervention, formulate an answerable question as a group.
Come to consensus on the domains of group that you want to assess, and then work
together to operationalize the variables in your answerable question. Derive
operational definitions from literature. These cannot be your own definitions.
5. Search for evidence. Each member of the group must find his/her own piece of
6. If you have time, begin to read your piece of evidence.
Part II is due in class at session #8
Outside of class, find a time when your group can meet (this can happen in person, online, or by
phone) and complete the following tasks. This will form the basis of a group written assignment.
1. Write up your answerable question.
2. How is your group’s question member relevant? Explain.
3. As a group discuss each of your data sources. This is an opportunity to teach each
other and share data (mutual aid).
4. Provide a paragraph summary for each data source that you collected, which includes
a few words about this evidence. Specifically, what you learned from it that might
help you think about effectively intervening during the critical incident your group
5. Assess each piece of evidence according to Macgowan’s Hierarchy of Rigor, Merit
6. As a group, decide on one intervention that the evidence suggests would be most
effective with the Breakfast Club/Hypothetical Group. Why has the group decided to
adopt this intervention with the Breakfast Club or your hypothetical group?
7. As a group, propose a study that would assess the efficacy of the intervention that you
have chosen. How would you collect data? When would you collect data? For
example, if you proposed a three question survey- what questions would you ask and
when would you administer the survey and why?
8. How would you involve the group members in the process so that the work includes
their needs and voices?
9. Consider together your process as a task group. Reflect on how it was to complete
this assignment together. What dynamics emerged for your task group? Reflect on
your group’s development. Were there obstacles to mutual aid or conflicts that arose?
How did you/did not address them? Other noteworthy dynamics or curiosities?
Please cite germane data sources in your discussion (2 pages).
This paper should not exceed 5-7 pages, 12 pt font, APA 6th ed., not including references.
*Each group hands in one paper that represents the collective efforts and ideas of the group-as-awhole.
The paper grade will be applied to each group member. No individual papers will be
Basic Analysis of the Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act, (FHA) passed during the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, while housing discrimination across the nation was rampant, primarily impacting African Americans by strategically segregating them out of white neighborhoods. The riots throughout the 1960’s created a spotlight around racial segregation and showcased the anger of African Americans living in urban cities. By 1977, societal issues had improved tremendously, and appeared to be leading the way for mended racial relations and a newfound acceptance for societal change (Massey, 2015, p. 571). An analysis of the Fair Housing Act reveals the challenges within the integration process, and how discrimination in housing is still rampant in a less palpable manner within modern day society.
The Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, ensures the right to housing and prohibits against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. The main objective was to create a housing market in which an individual’s background does not restrict access. Civil rights activists during this time hoped that by barring discrimination in housing markets it would desegregate society (Massey, 2015, p. 571). The legislation was a culmination of a civil rights campaign against housing discrimination. History shows that during this time frame segregation was a wide spread norm throughout the United States. Systematic testing on segregation did not begin until the early 1970’s, yet despite not having concrete data on discrimination, records show that it was excessive. “By the late 1960’s, Detroit’s suburban residents, relators, and officials had helped ensure that most neighborhoods remained off-limits to black people (Zasloff, 2017, p. 5).” There were advocates for open housing, early in the twentieth century, however, the efforts did not yield momentum until the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Once this act was enacted into law, it emphasized equal employment opportunity in Title VII and Title VI, and eliminated housing discrimination in federal programs (Otto, 2016, p. 312). This ultimately paved the way for more deliberation on fair housing, and in 1968 Congressman John B Anderson of Illinois retold the story of a black schoolteacher that was denied housing over 100 times while searching for a home (Zasloff, 2017, p. 6). The same congressman cast the final vote to pass the Fair Housing Act of 1968. It was officially signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on April 11, 1968, nearly a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The FHA was the first of several forms of legislation utilized to promote residential desegregation. It was imperative for Congress to address the less transparent forms of racial discrimination in mortgage lending, marketing, and loan application procedures, as the FHA could not single handedly eliminate all discrimination (Wright, 2009, p. 1343). Once Congress passed The Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974, and the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, racial discrimination in African American neighborhoods was prohibited and legality of redlining eliminated (Massey, 2015, p. 578). In 1977, HUD began a more in-depth assessment in measuring the nature and extent of housing discrimination against blacks. The survey, conducted by the National Committee against Discrimination in Housing, took matched pairs of black and white applicants through forty metropolitan areas over the course of one year (Wienk, Reid, Simmon, & Eggers, 1979). There were four categories that were utilized to make the systematic comparison, this included information offered on housing availability, courteous treatment by realtors, the terms and conditions presented to applicants, and the housing information requested or volunteered by the realtors. The review of these findings showcased that general housing discrimination was approximately lower than one-third, which was considered high by equality standards. The silver lining was that in comparison to a decade earlier, discrimination had still dropped significantly (Wienk et al., 1979, p. 7). Later studies of segregation trends through Massey and Denton showcased minimal changes toward integration between 1970-1980.
A period of transition began to run course from late 1960 through the late 1970’s. Although there is not clear data on how the change transpired, one can speculate that between concepts such as civil rights activism, and neighborhood integration in communities, this paved the way to an overall opposition towards discrimination. There were three organizations, Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center, and the Institute for Social Research, that conducted polls around segregation and open housing initiatives during this period. All polling showed that the beliefs on discrimination amongst Caucasians had shifted, as there was an acceptance around integration and non-discriminatory practices. Other responses within the data showed that there was strong opposition of segregation immediately after the FHA was implemented. This however, did not stay consistent as individuals moved back toward initial viewpoints and beliefs around segregation, making it difficult to assert conclusion from the data (Schuman, Steeh, Bobo, & Krysan, 1998, p. 136).
The Fair Housing Act is enforced by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, HUD has several branches and partnerships to target housing discrimination. The agency has delegated compliance of fair housing enforcement to the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity along with the HUD office of General Council. The FHA initially did not protect the characteristics of sex and disability, but these initiatives were finally added in the late 1980’s (Zasloff, 2017, p. 7). The FHEO provides funding and has partnerships with state and local governments to secure fair housing laws and investigate incidents, known as the Fair Housing Assistance Program. In addition to this structure, there are several non-profit fair housing advocacy organizations throughout the nation that operate with funding from the Fair Housing Initiatives Program, (FHIP) while others are strictly funded by private donations and grants. The FHIP is comprised of four initiatives, three that provide funding through competitive grants (http://www.hud.gov).
The Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI). This initiative includes the funding of non-profit housing organizations focused on enforcement and education. The FHOI also supports the needs of underserved groups nationally, specifically those with disabilities.
The Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI). This offers funding for non-profit fair housing organizations to test and prevent discriminatory housing practices. PEI also supports the effectiveness of nationwide fair housing groups.
The Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI). Provides funding for state and local government agencies, along with non-profit organizations for initiatives that promote understanding and compliance with the Fair Housing Act.
The Administrative Enforcement Initiative (AEI). This initiative provides support for state and local governments that adopt legislation to support furthering the goals and enforcement of the FHA. However, there is currently no funding for this program.
Incidents of housing discrimination move directly to a federal district court, as intervention through HUD or another governmental agency is not required. The United States Department of Justice additionally has jurisdiction to file cases on behalf of the United States of America when an established pattern of discriminatory behavior is involved.
HUD’s authority was systematically weakened after permission was given only to investigate complaints of housing discrimination and determine to pursue or dismiss the allegation within 30 days. An investigation that was pursued and revealed discrimination, could only be referred to the Justice Department for potential prosecution, as HUD has no jurisdiction to force compliance or penalize under any circumstance (Massey, 2015, p. 576). As stated by Patricia R. Harris, former HUD secretary, the FHA had reduced HUD to “asking the discovered lawbreaker whether he wants to discuss the matter” (Massey, 2015, p. 576).
The FHA has not delivered its promise to diminish residential housing segregation as it has been unable to offer true housing options for the consumer minority. The lack of integration is dependent on the decisions of third-party white consumers; a gap in the FHA that protects the option of the consumer to choose not to integrate. This consumer choice is a structural flaw that was not addressed within the FHA, therefore perpetuating a segregated urban ghetto (Seicshnaydre, 2015, para. 7). The magnitude of this gap is important as the concept of decision making through free will is embedded in the policy a stretch from reality. Although further work is required to gain an explicit set of new federal policies within the FHA, the last several years have shown promise with the Supreme Court endorsement of the disparate impact doctrine, this ruled that housing discrimination did not need to be intentional for it to be deemed illegal. In line with this initiative, the Obama administration introduced a mandate that required government to address fair housing and request that communities receiving HUD funding review data on segregation and poverty prior to finalizing decisions regarding affordable housing.
Personal Assessment of Effectiveness and Literature Gaps
In my early childhood I had firsthand exposure to the complexities that rose from the housing segregation in metro Detroit. However, Detroit was not unique and showcased the same racial division as other urban metropolitan cities across the country.
The Fair Housing Act helped to generate some gradual change toward desegregation throughout its 50 years of existence, yet many metropolitan cities remain just as segregated as they were in 1968. For example, several large metropolitan cities that fall into this category include Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Baltimore (Massey, 2015, p. 581). A nation that is continually rising in levels of dissimilarity amongst white communities will continue to drive isolation and abandon the foundational principles of the FHA entirely. The injustices that Civil Rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for did not end with civil rights legislation, but rather became less transparent and disguised in outdated policies that do not serve our society.
Nonetheless, these policies contributed to additional forms of isolation such as lack of jobs, transportation, and viable education which only perpetuated racial inequity of opportunity and the creation of a wealth gap. Despite the knowledge and data surrounding the outcome of this social policy, there is a lack of literature that offers a solution for closing the wealth gap that is directly correlated to five decades of residential housing segregation. Further research and a more comprehensive fair housing strategy should be implemented as past injustices continue to breed multi-layered suffering today. In addition, the audit study implementation on fair housing overseen by HUD lacks both the funding and authority to conduct in depth studies within vulnerable markets and has failed to eliminate the urban ghetto. Reflecting on the literature, the inability to fulfill the FHA mission to desegregate housing needs to recognize that whites have chosen homogeneity over inclusion (Seicshnaydre, 2015, para. 15). An often-neglected reality of the FHA are the structural components that promote housing choice for blacks yet lack in addressing the ability for whites to opt out of inclusion. The underlying challenges involved with inclusion include the high opportunity incentives of wealth and prosperity offered in “white” communities. Despite the goal of eliminating the urban ghettos, the FHA has failed to offer an entrance into these neighborhoods of opportunity, thus enabling federally financed ghettos. With these circumstances and lack of additional legislative intervention, I fear that the future will look more like our nation’s past.
Framework Health Impact
According to the American Housing Survey, (AHS) conducted biennially by the US Census Bureau to empirically evaluate the nation’s housing, how inadequate or unhealthy housing impacts the most vulnerable populations and primarily includes minorities, persons with disabilities, and low-income households. In addition, Non-Hispanic black households were found to have the highest ratio of living in unhealthy housing, (28.3 percent). The survey considers inadequate housing to have safety or structural issues and unhealthy housing as it relates to involuntary exposure of environmental toxins not limited to lead, radon, asbestos, and mold (Tilburg, 2017, p. 90). In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1 in 7 cancer related deaths in the United States are associated with radon exposure. This data not only showcases the current polarization between ethnicity, race, disability, and classes, but measures the lack of progress within the FHA legislation.
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “For it is obvious that if a man enters the starting line of a race three hundred years after another man, the first would have to perform some incredible feat in order to catch up to his fellow runner.”
Massey, D. S. (2015). The legacy of the 1968 fair housing act [Entire issue]. Sociological Forum, 30(No. S1). https://doi.org/10.1111/socf.12178
Otto, H. J. (2016, Spring2016). Reflections on the Enactment of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Urban Lawyer, 48(2), 311-327. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.simmons.edu/eds/delivery
Schuman, H., Steeh, C., Bobo, L., & Krysan, M. (1998). Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations. In Racial Attitudes in America (pp. 134-136). Cambridge, Harvard University Press: Harvard University Press.
Seicshnaydre, S. E. (2015). The Fair Housing Choice Myth [Entire issue]. Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, 23(2). Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.simmons.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=14367935-d549-4e42-a518-d652fad851cf%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=102906658
Tilburg, W. C. (Spring 2017). Policy Approaches to Improving Housing and Health [Public Health Law Conference]. The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, 45 S1(S1), 90-93. Retrieved from https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.simmons.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=d677909a-81df-4bc6-80fe-f299ba583bd5%40sessionmgr102
Wienk, R. E., Reid, C. E., Simmon, J. C., & Eggers, F. J. (1979). Measuring Discrimination in American Housing Markets: The Housing Market Practices Survey (HUD-PDR-444(2)). Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED182397
Wright, B. (2009). Fair housing and roommates: Contesting a presumption of Constitutionality [law review]. Brigham Young University Law Review, 1343. Retrieved from https://web-b-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.simmons.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=d28d6a20-5569-4781-a3c0-739452835d8a%40sessionmgr120&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=48356210&db=bth
Zasloff, J. (2017). Between resistance and embrace: American relators, the Justice Department and the uncertain triumph of the fair housing act, 1968-1978 (61Howard Law Journal 69). Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com