Race was one of the first four protected classes covered by the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Despite the protections offered by the Act, discrimination based on race persisted, and persists today. Methods of discrimination are numerous, but just a few examples of racist housing practices include:
- Blockbusting: The practice of influencing owners to sell their properties at lower prices because of the fear that people of another race would move into the neighborhood. The influencers would then profit by selling the properties at a higher price, often to minorities. This practice is not so common today, but was at its height after World War II.
- Redlining: The practice of denying services (loans, insurance, etc.) to residents based on the racial or ethnic composition of the neighborhood. In 1998 HOME won a landmark case against Nationwide for discriminatory redlining practices.
- False Representation of Home Availability: A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found that “the greatest share of discrimination for Hispanic and African American home seekers can still be attributed to being told units are unavailable when they are available to non-Hispanic whites and being shown and told about less units than a comparable non-minority.”