A House Divided

"This is our America. And it isn’t what we promised."

Norman Lear


Norman Lear explores the housing divide in New York City, where he is confronted by one of the nation’s starkest images of inequality: a record number of homeless people living in the shadows of luxury skyscrapers filled with apartments purposely being kept empty. The creator of “All in the Family,” “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons” speaks with tenants, realtors, homeless people, housing activists, landlords and city officials — investigating the Big Apple’s affordability crisis, hedge fund speculation on residential housing, and a legacy of racist discrimination that still persists today.

Watch episodes 1 & 2 to view the full story.

The Issues

Full Episode: A House Divided

Clip: Norman Lear and the Fair Housing Justice Center

Panel: Norman Lear at the Brookings Institution

Clip: Norman Lear and Bill de Blasio

Clip: Norman Lear learns about housing disparities

Solutions to Bridge the Divide

Housing segregation is invisible to many but acknowledging that our country is divided by location is an important first step in helping create united communities. AMERICA DIVIDED uncovers explores racial discrimination and gentrification in New York City, but housing segregation and discrimination happens everywhere, every day.

The Federal Fair Housing Act protects your right to rent an apartment, buy a home, obtain a mortgage, or purchase homeowners insurance free from discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • National Origin
  • Disability (mental and physical)
  • Familial Status (presence of children under 18 in the home)

If you are a New Yorker looking to take action or get help, visit our partners at The Fair Housing Justice Center. If you are in other parts of the country, The National Fair Housing Alliance fights housing discrimination through advocacy, education, enforcement, outreach and public policy initiatives. Visit them to take action in your community and be part of creating an #AmericaUnited.