It becomes illegal to deny selling a person a home because of their race, gender, or religion.
This map of Los Angeles and surrounding areas illustrates the redlining which took place. Areas outlined in red were considered the lowest real estate value, and often were the only areas where people of color and other minorities were allowed to own property. These groups were seldom able to own property in areas marked as green or blue on this map.
Image courtesy of KCET.
Amid the Civil Rights Movements, the people of North Long Beach passionately fought for equal rights not just with voting but housing as well.
Before the 1960s a black family or any other family of color, regardless of income, could be easily, and legally, denied the right to live in a particular house or neighborhood because of the color of their skin.
This practice, called ‘redlining’ restricted the areas that people of color could live in to the least desirable, most dangerous neighborhoods where the white decision-makers in government knew white residents would not want to live. As a result, specific areas like North Long Beach excluded communities of color.
After the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1963, property owners (public and private) could no longer legally deny the sale of property to a person solely because of their ethnicity, race, gender, or religion.
Although the passage of the act was deemed a ‘triumph,’ its implementation created a new form of segregation called ‘blockbusting.’ In this practice, realtors would go knocking on doors in primarily-white neighborhoods claiming that people of color were going to unavoidably become neighbors due to the Fair Housing Act, and would successfully convince white residents to sell their houses by heightening their fear of integration. Then the realtors would sell those houses to people of color at above-market, often predatory rates. When a family or person of color would move in, the remainder of white homeowners would sell their houses and move in a racist response and whole blocks would often be left vacant. North Long Beach was one of the many local areas that was affected by this practice.
Sources we used and further reading on this era of Long Beach:
Brian Addison, "A History of Housing Practices in Long Beach," kcet.org, last modified September 13, 2017.
Ryan Reft, “Segregation in the City of Angeles: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A.,” kcet.org, November 14, 2017.