By Rich Cosgrove, President Stark Trumbull Area REALTORS

Did you know Dr. King was a vital pioneer in fair housing within the African American Community? Not only did Dr. King dedicate his legacy to getting rights to African Americans’ during the Civil Rights Movement, but also to bring awareness to housing discrimination and safeguard the rights of African American citizens in the 1960’s.

How Martin Luther King Jr. played a role in Fair Housing

One of his many tasks as a public figure in the Civil Rights Movement was to validate and protect the concerns of African American citizens during the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King served as a co-leader in a campaign known as the Chicago Freedom Movement. This movement worked tirelessly to challenge discrimination regarding employment, education, and housing for African American citizens. The Chicago Freedom Movement achieved important victories such as building public housing in white middle-class areas, and the promise of mortgage companies to stop discriminatory lending policies.

While the Fair Housing Act was not passed until Dr. King was assassinated, his legacy assisted in expediting its enactment. President Lyndon Johnson used the tragedy of the riots following Dr. King’s assassination to push Congress into solidifying the Act as a memorial to his Dr. King’s legacy. Without the work of Dr. King, the Fair Housing Act would have taken a longer time for Congress to review, and many black Americans would be forced to continue fighting for equal opportunity in the real estate industry.

After two years of Congress pushing for its passage, the Fair Housing Act was passed on April 11, 1968. Since then, new additions have been added to include different forms of discrimination including, but not limited to, disability, religious, and family status. Within its first year of being passed, the Department of Housing and Urban Division (HUD) created the formal complaint process that allowed members of the public to file a complaint if their rights have been infringed upon.

Why we have the Fair Housing Act

Although the Fair Housing Act has come a long way, it is updated constantly to ensure that each member of the general publics’ rights will be protected. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with other public figures and politicians objectives was to not only expose the fair housing issue within the country, but also to give rights to the people; regardless of race, economic standing, religious beliefs, and so on.

For more information about how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. played a role in the Fair Housing Act, you can visit You can also visit for a breakdown of how he also exposed the discriminatory issues by utilizing the Chicago Freedom Movement. Lastly, if you would like more information about the history of the Fair Housing Act, please visit


The Stark Trumbull Area REALTORS® welcomes you to visit our website at for a complete listing of REALTORS® and Affiliate members who are sure to meet your professional needs.  The Stark Trumbull Area REALTORS® members are honored to service the Stark, Carroll and Trumbull Counties.

If you have any questions or comments on this article, please contact me by email at

The voice of real estate in Stark, Carroll, and Trumbull counties.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?