RAM Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Fair Housing Act
More than 30 people attended a proclamation signing ceremony at the Kalana O Maui building on Monday, April 16, during which Mayor Alan Arakawa declared April 2018 as Fair Housing Month in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly referred to as the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act was signed into law on April 11, 1968 to protect people from discrimination when they are renting, buying or securing financing for any housing. The prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children.
In April 1967, Hawai‘i enacted its own fair housing law, Chapter 515 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, which preceded the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. The mayoral proclamation acknowledges both fair housing laws and urges “all citizens, agencies and institutions in this county to abide by the letter and spirit of the Fair Housing Act and Chapter 515 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes and support an end to housing discrimination.”
In attendance at the ceremony were RAM President Rhonda Hay; RAM Government Affairs Director Lawrence Carnicelli; RAM Chief Staff Executive David Belew; Mayor Alan Arakawa; County of Maui Managing Director Keith Regan; Department of Housing and Human Concerns Director Carol Reimann, Department of Housing and Human Concerns Deputy Director Jan Shishido; Assistant Housing Administrator Buddy Almeida; and several nonprofit directors.
“RAM understands that great progress has been made; however, some discrimination in housing still exists. Therefore, we are not finished,” Hay said on behalf of RAM.. “There is still much work to be done. It is extremely important to continue to expand equal housing opportunity to include one and all.”
Hay said RAM remains steadfast in its belief that fair housing is a critical part of keeping Maui a healthy and progressive place to live. “We recognize the uniquely important role we have in this essential endeavor to ensure everyone will have the opportunity to find a place to call home,” she said. “We will continue to advocate for all, especially those who can’t advocate for themselves. RAM is working together with our partners and allies to show that our industry is firmly committed to expanding fair housing protection and to help everyone experience the American Dream of homeownership. That is the mission of RAM—and that is a mission worth fighting for.”