1968 : East Lansing Passes Ordinance Guaranteeing Fair Housing

April 8, 2023 all-day

t was nearly 50 years ago that blacks were forbidden from owning property in East Lansing, home of MSU. It’s hard to believe a city heralded for being the first community in the nation to have civil rights for gays, kept its doors closed to blacks until April 8, 1968, four days after the death of King and three days before the federal Fair Housing Act went into effect mandating fair housing nationwide.

The “movement” paled in comparison to the Selmas and Montgomerys. The efforts claimed local headlines and scathed across editorial pages of the college paper or the Towne Courier.

But the history of fair housing in East Lansing offers lessons.

For more information see Bill Castanier, “A house divided : The movement in East Lansing to open housing for blacks”, Lansing City Pulse, February 25, 2015

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