While the Civil Rights Act of 1966 prohibited discrimination in housing, there were no federal enforcement provisions. The 1968 act expanded on previous acts and prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, (and as amended) handicap and family status. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is also known as the Fair Housing Act. (source)

1968: Federal Fair Housing Act

Redlining and the practice of writing racial covenants into deeds is now illegal

Protective classes include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability

A Civil Rights Victory

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act was passed by Congress four days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. This legislation prohibits discrimination by direct providers of housing (landlords and real estate companies) as well as other entities (such as municipalities, banks and other lending institutions, and homeowners insurance companies). Discrimination in other housing-related activities such as advertising, zoning practices, and new construction design is also covered. As a result of this legislation, the practices of redlining and the writing of racially restrictive covenants into deeds were deemed illegal.

When originally passed in 1968, the Fair Housing Act only covered four protective classes: race, color, religion, and national origin. Sex was added as a protective class in 1974. In 1988, disability and familial status were included as protective classes as well.