Opinion of the Court
of the races: Racially restrictive covenants prevented the conveyance of property to minorities, see Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U. S. 1 (1948); steering by real-estate agents led potential buyers to consider homes in racially homogenous areas; and discriminatory lending practices, often referred to as redlining, precluded minority families from purchasing homes in affluent areas. See, e.g., M. Klarman, Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History 140–141 (2007); Brief for Housing Scholars as Amici Curiae 22–23. By the 1960’s, these policies, practices, and prejudices had created many predominantly black inner cities surrounded by mostly white suburbs. See K. Clark, Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power 11, 21–26 (1965).
The mid-1960’s was a period of considerable social unrest; and, in response, President Lyndon Johnson established the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, commonly known as the Kerner Commission. Exec. Order No. 11365, 3 CFR 674 (1966–1970 Comp.). After extensive factfinding the Commission identified residential segregation and unequal housing and economic conditions in the inner cities as significant, underlying causes of the social unrest. See Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders 91 (1968) (Kerner Commission Report). The Commission found that "[n]early two-thirds of all nonwhite families living in the central cities today live in neighborhoods marked by substandard housing and general urban blight." Id., at 13. The Commission further found that both open and covert racial discrimination prevented black families from obtaining better housing and moving to integrated communities. Ibid. The Commission concluded that "[o]ur Nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal." Id., at 1. To reverse "[t]his deepening racial division," ibid., it recommended enactment of "a comprehensive and enforceable open-occupancy law making it an offense to discriminate in the sale or rental of