Leonardtown, MD –April 2018 marks the 50thanniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The act increases housing choices for all Americans without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, familial status or disability and encourages fair housing opportunities for all citizens. To mark the occasion, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have proclaimed April 2018 Fair Housing Month.

The Maryland Fair Housing law, first enacted in 1971 and memorialized per Maryland Code, Article 49B, Sections 19-39, adds marital status and sexual orientation as protected classes. Local efforts are vital to promoting Fair Housing and to expand opportunities and choices for all.

Courtesy of the St. Mary’s County PIO

“Illegal barriers to equal opportunity in housing, no matter how subtle, diminish the rights of all and ongoing educational outreach and monitoring are key to raising awareness of fair housing principles, practices, rights and responsibilities,” said Commissioner Todd Morgan (4thDistrict).

The St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services, the Southern Maryland Association of Realtors, Inc., the Housing Authority of St. Mary’s County and the St. Mary’s County Human Relations Commission, along with property owners, management companies and countless others, continue to build alliances supporting Fair Housing.

The commissioners encourage all citizens to abide by the letter and spirit of Fair Housing Laws.