Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1901163
 


 



The Right to Fair Housing: Its Development, Growth, and Enforcement


Charles M. Lamb


State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo - Department of Political Science

Eric M. Wilk


Georgia Gwinnett College

Nicholas Seabrook


affiliation not provided to SSRN

2011

APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper

Abstract:     
The right to fair housing was initially created by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. During the twentieth century, however, state governments adopted laws prohibiting various types of housing discrimination before Congress enacted the most important federal guarantee - the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968). Indeed, not only did state governments precede the federal government in expanding the right to fair housing between the late 1930s and 1968, but state laws were usually broader than Title VIII in both their coverage and administrative enforcement provisions. Title VIII also strongly encouraged the expansion of fair housing rights at the state and local levels by requiring that subnational governments have the first opportunity to enforce the Fair Housing Act if they passed legislation substantially equivalent to Title VIII. This cooperative federalism requirement has dramatically influenced the growth and enforcement of fair housing rights. States and localities throughout most of the nation have significantly strengthened the right to fair housing since the early 1980s, increasingly enforcing Title VIII. To determine how well this cooperative federalism arrangement is working, we first compare the enforcement performance of HUD and state and local civil rights agencies along several dimensions by relying on two data sets obtained from HUD. Using one of these data sets, we then explore the extent to which federal, state, and local agencies provide outcomes favoring complainants in housing discrimination cases. We find that Title VIII enforcement at the state and local levels is often better than HUD enforcement. We further conclude that state civil rights agencies resolve complaints in favor of complainants nearly as often as HUD and that localities sometimes do so even more frequently. We address policy implications briefly in our conclusions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 49

Keywords: Right to fair housing, federal and state fair housing laws, HUD, FHAP

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Date posted: August 1, 2011 ; Last revised: August 7, 2011

Suggested Citation

Lamb, Charles M. and Wilk, Eric M. and Seabrook, Nicholas, The Right to Fair Housing: Its Development, Growth, and Enforcement (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1901163

Contact Information

Charles M. Lamb (Contact Author)
State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo - Department of Political Science ( email )
520 Park Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
Eric M. Wilk
Georgia Gwinnett College ( email )
1000 University Center Lane
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
United States
Nicholas Seabrook
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
No Address Available
Feedback to SSRN


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