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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded

January 2008

Month Degree Awarded



This research focuses on the applicability of the federal Fair Housing Act to the practice of municipal land use planning and zoning and examines how this relationship can inform a curriculum intended for municipal authorities on their responsibilities under the Act. The purpose of the Fair Housing Act is to provide equal access to housing through desegregation and non-discrimination. Historically, many municipal governments have used zoning to segregate communities based on race, ethnicity, national origin and disability, among other traits. Today, scholars point to exclusionary zoning tactics and unfair treatment of housing for the disabled, for example, as barriers to equal housing opportunity. Strategies for affirmatively furthering fair housing exist and their implementation is feasible. Municipalities throughout the country implement these strategies through a variety of practices, however emerging cases suggest that not all practice non-discrimination. Through instruction, many more municipal authorities might learn about strategies to affirmatively further fair housing in addition to fulfilling their legal responsibilities as housing regulators. Fair housing advocates and professionals are poised to assume instructional leadership because of their experience working with municipal authorities and their understanding of the Fair Housing Act and its relationship to land use planning and zoning.


First Advisor

Ellen J. Pader