Attempt by government entities or private parties to bar the sale or rental of housing to members of minority groups.
The first type of housing discrimination addressed by the Supreme Court was attempts by cities and towns to establish separate residential areas for different races. In Buchanan v. Warley
Housing discrimination persisted, however, through restrictive covenants (contractual agreements by property owners that they would never sell or rent property to nonwhites). In 1926 the Court let stand a lower court decision upholding their legality. Discrimination in this form continued undisturbed until the Court declared in Shelley v. Kraemer
During the late 1960’s and 1970’s the Court began to focus on private acts of discrimination. In Reitman v. Mulkey
In 1968 Congress passed a fair housing act that clearly restricted private and public acts of housing discrimination. After its enactment, the Court’s role was increasingly to rule on cases involving more subtle attempts to exclude particular groups. For example, the refusal of cities and towns to approve the construction of low-income housing or apartments was challenged as indirect discrimination against minorities. However, in several cases in the 1970’s, the most notable of which was Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp.
Hall, Kermit L. Freedom and Equality: Discrimination and the Supreme Court. New York: Garland, 2000. Klarman, Michael J. From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Rasmussen, R. Kent. Farewell to Jim Crow: The Rise and Fall of Segregation in America. New York: Facts On File, 1997. Rosenberg, Gerald N. The Hollow Hope. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. Vose, Clement. Caucasians Only. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.
Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp.
Civil Rights Acts
Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co.
Race and discrimination
Shelley v. Kraemer