Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Government enforcement of equal opportunity in all housing, or in all housing connected with the various federal programs discussed in this note, would virtually eliminate the present fear among many whites that the presence of Negroes in the community hurts property values. Even if there were any basis to such a fear, the fact that Negroes had an easily enforceable right to purchase property in all neighborhoods would tend to prevent such price devaluation since the actual presence of Negroes in more and more areas would eventually make all white neighborhoods non-existent. Moreover,the fact that all, or the vast majority of, mortgage-lending institutions, builders and homeowners would be compelled to observe nondiscrimination in housing would foreclose any possible loss of business to the individual institutions, builders, and home owners since there would be no alternative source of supply. Now, before the adoption of these nondiscrimination requirements, the imposition of such requirements may well seem a frightening and dangerous exercise of governmental power in derogation of individual rights. But, as was the case with the accommodations and employment sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, after passage, people will look back and realize that the fears were exaggerated and that the overall effect of the legislation is highly beneficial to the country's welfare.