Brick + Beam Detroit

Bite Size Histories: Property Ownership Timeline

Bite Size Histories: Property Ownership Timeline


Property ownership has been a part of the United State’s legal constructs since the creation of the Bill of Rights in 1791, with the fifth amendment . The Fifth Amendment states “Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Legal aspects of property ownership have been debated in court and evolved since 1791. Here are some of the important shifts in property ownership since then. 


1866, Civil Rights Act: Banned discrimination in the sale, transfer, lease or use of property including real estate and housing. (link)


1917, Buchanan v Warley: The Supreme Court of the United States upheld local legislation in Louisville, Kentucky,  that prohibited sales of property to Black individuals in White-majority neighborhoods. (link)


1924, The National Association of Real Estate Boards promised punishment and revocation of membership to any broker who disrupted patterns of racial homogeneity in a given block or neighborhood


1934, New Deal’s National Housing Act sought to improve housing conditions, make mortgages more affordable/accessible, and minimize foreclosures during the Great Depression (link)


1940s, The NAACP launches a legal campaign against covenants.(link)


1947, Sipes v. McGhee. The Supreme Court reversed an earlier Michigan decision, ruling that using state courts to enforce the covenant restricting occupancy on the basis of race was unconstitutional as state action that violated the Fourteenth Amendment. (link)


1948, The Supreme Court rules covenants unenforceable in Shelley v. Kraemer. (link)


1960s, Women gained the right to open up a bank account. 


1964, The Civil Rights Act did not include Federal Housing Administration backed loans as a part of racial discrimination protection


1968, The Fair Housing Act was passed by the US Congress, making racial covenants illegal. (link)


1968, Jones v Alfred H. Mayer determined that the US Congress can regulate the sale of private property to prevent racial discrimination (link)


1971, Reed v Reed, was a United States Supreme Court decision that ruled administrators of estates can not be selected in a way that discriminates on a basis of sex. Estate management and inheritance laws are directly linked to developing multi generational wealth. (link)


1974, Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed with the intent to prohibit credit discrimination on the basis of gender. Women gaining the ability to acquire credit cards, develop a line of credit, and gain a loan without a male cosigner. (link)


1988, The Fair Housing Act was amended to extend protections to families with children and persons with disabilities. 


Learn More About: 


Have a rehab question?

Ask a question in our Q&A forum. Experts are standing by.

Ask now
Ask a question in our Q&A forum at Experts are standing by to help!