Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The problem of race and housing is complicated and limited by several factors not present in other racially controversial areas. First,the limited supply of decent housing forces the exercise of some selection in allocating existing housing resources. Second, housing is relatively fixed in nature and has a long usable life. Third, housing constitutes part of a neighborhood or a community--a total fabric of living. Finally, because of the individual nature of most transactions of buying or renting--except when a suburban tract or a new apartment house is concerned--enforcing the laws prohibiting racial discrimination in housing is very difficult. Analyzing each of these factors in terms of its effect on racial integration leads to the unfortunate conclusion that housing has been profoundly resistant to any significant and meaningful change in racial composition.