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Chalfant Heights Neighborhood

17) Chalfant Heights Neighborhood

700 block of North Twyckenham Drive (at Chalfant Street)

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Before the passing of the open housing legislation as part of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1968, it was legal in South Bend, and in much of the United States, to openly discriminate against African Americans and refuse to sell them houses. Many places in South Bend explicitly banned the selling of homes to non-whites, though they could be brought in as domestic servants. According to a 1959 US Civil Rights Commission study of conditions in South Bend, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, “The area of discrimination in housing in Indiana is probably the greatest blight we are facing in the problems of discrimination affecting the Civil Rights Commission.” In the mid-1940s, Chalfant Heights was developed by William Morris, an African American Realtor, as a place of quality housing for African Americans. The neighborhood consists of 11 homes, which are still present. Fair housing is now the law of the land and of Indiana.