We All Play a Role in Achieving Fair Housing
April 15, 2022
April is National Fair Housing Month, a time when we celebrate the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 and recognize progress towards ending housing discrimination in America. It’s also a time to think about how we can work together to achieve our shared goal of fair housing—where we can all access the housing we desire in communities that welcome us. Keep reading to learn about four organizations that are making strides to improve housing access—and see how you can join the effort to achieve fair housing.
NeighborWorks America is a nonpartisan nonprofit that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks supports a network of nearly 250 organizations nationwide that help people access sustainable homeownership. Senior Vice President of NeighborWorks America, Lee Anne Adams, explains, “To overcome the longstanding and growing inequities in our communities, we need to reach common goals and align resources across sectors to make an impact.” NeighborWorks’ network of organizations offers a range of services from financial coaching and pre-purchase counseling to homebuyer education, down payment assistance programs, and affordable first mortgage products. NeighborWorks’ impact nationally in 2021 includes its network investing more than $16.8 billion in their communities, creating and/or maintaining 49,000 jobs, and providing more than 470,000 housing and counseling services.
Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center (LaFHAC) is a nonprofit civil rights organization that has been fighting against discrimination in housing since 1995. LaFHAC provides free legal representation to people who have experienced discrimination and challenges discriminatory policies and practices in the housing market. When asked why equitable access to housing is so important, Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center, explains, “Where we live influences nearly every aspect of our lives. Our zip code determines everything from whether we have access to fresh food and produce to how long we’ll have to wait for public transit, to even how long we’ll live. Equitable access to housing is important because where we live determines how or whether we’ll have access to opportunity.”
The Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) is a nonprofit civil rights organization that serves all five boroughs of New York City and seven surrounding New York counties. FHJC works to eliminate housing discrimination by promoting policies that foster inclusive communities and strengthening the enforcement of fair housing laws. In addition to assisting people who file housing discrimination complaints, FHJC conducts proactive systemic testing investigations to identify patterns of housing discrimination that exist in the community. “Our investigations have led to legal challenges that have opened more than 70,000 housing units to previously excluded populations, recovered more than $53 million in damages and penalties, and changed the way many housing providers and government agencies do business,” explains Executive Director of the Fair Housing Justice Center, Elizabeth Grossman.
Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is a nonprofit fair housing organization that works to create equal housing opportunities in Central Indiana through advocacy, enforcement, education, and outreach. FHCCI was established in 2012 through a U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development grant awarded to the National Fair Housing Alliance to establish a fair housing agency in central Indiana. When asked what the future of fair housing looks like, Amy Nelson, the Executive Director of Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, explains, “Truly achieving fair housing requires the full attention and support of the federal government, the courts, and all of us. Fair housing laws have never had funding or the strength of will to truly address our nation’s history of discriminatory practices that still impact our neighborhoods and our country today. I remain hopeful we can achieve the vision of fair housing laws that allows each person to have equal housing opportunity.”
If you believe you have experienced discrimination in renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, or other housing-related activities because of your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability—click here to learn how to file a complaint with HUD. HUD will investigate your complaint for free.
Source: We All Play a Role in Achieving Fair Housing Propertyowneralliance.org (April 13, 2022) American Property Owners Alliance