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Why housing discrimination is still a problem

The Fair Housing Rights Act of 1968 made it easier for people of color to gain access to available homes and apartments. However, Michigan residents of color may find that they still struggle to be treated equally when it comes to finding housing. It is a remnant of ideas that began after slavery ended and the country came back together as one.

In the 1930s and 1940s, neighborhoods where African-Americans lived would be shaded as red to signify that they were hazardous to be in. These are areas where banks would refuse to lend or would leave entirely, and insurance companies and other businesses are also non-existent in areas that were once labeled as a hazard to occupy. One way to put a stop to discriminatory housing practices is to report them. Of an estimated 4 million violations that occur in America each year, only 29,000 are reported.

Education can also be a powerful tool to stopping discrimination from happening. It can help an individual realize when he or she is being discriminated against or when a person sees it happen to someone else. In some cases, an individual will be a victim of discrimination even when someone is smiling and seemingly being helpful to that person.

It is generally illegal for a landlord or homeowner to discriminate against a person based on race, national origin or because he or she has a child. Those who are not shown an apartment or not given an opportunity to look at a home may wish to take legal action. This may be done with the assistance of an attorney. If a claim is successful, a victim may be entitled to compensation. Cases may be resolved in court or through less formal means.