New York City became first US city to ban racial discrimination in housing

On December 5, 1957, New York City became the first city in the US to pass legislation barring racial discrimination in regards to housing. Implementation of the legislation, entitled the Sharkey-Brown-Isaacs Act, began in 1958. While the law did not fully prevent people from discriminating on the basis of race regarding housing, it offered a vehicle to fight such occurrences. This action began a series of legislative acts around the country adding housing protections for people based on race, eventually culminating in the Fair Housing Act of 1968. In 1948, the US Supreme Court had found in Shelley v. Kraemer that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 made racially exclusive housing clauses unenforceable in court.


Seal of New York City

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