As April rolls around every year, I feel my fair housing blood stir a bit as Membership works with Communications and Strategic Programs to do our part in making available updated Fair Housing information for the Fahe Network. We see all the HFA notices of trainings for Fair Housing taking place and I always look forward to seeing the different and innovative ways our Members embrace Fair Housing activities during Fair Housing Month. Here are some of my favorites:
Cindy Ross has been with ADFAC (Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties) for several years and directs the Affordable Housing Program. Cindy has invented a lovable character to promote the message of Fair Housing in April with the local schools in and around Oak Ridge, TN. Franklin, the Fair Housing Fox, introduces elementary school children to the importance of Fair Housing in a coloring and activity book that is educational and fun! There is also a page for parents regarding the Fair Housing Act and what to do if they feel they have been discriminated against. Cindy works with United Way and local corporations for sponsors to print the FH Activity Book for distribution during April. Take a look:
This year, Andy Kegley at HOPE, Inc. in Wytheville is planning Fair Housing activities at the Open Door Café , where “Everyone Eats Wythe Us”. I very much appreciate HOPE using the venue of the Open Door Café, a pay as you can restaurant. HOPE’s efforts provide a nice cross-sector impact to share the message of how housing, through the Fair Housing Act, has positive impact in communities – much in the same way as feeding people has a positive impact!
Frontier Housing in Morehead, KY, has a book reading – a Fair Housing book, the Fair Housing Five – with third graders at Rodburn Elementary School to talk about the importance of home. Frontier will share coloring sheets for the kids to help them imagine the type of house that is their dream home. Frontier Housing would also like to invite you to join them for a Fair Housing episode in their Coffee and Conversation FB posts www.facebook.com/pg/frontierkentucky/posts/
Randolph County Housing Authority (RCHA), along with several other WV members will be attending the WV Fair Housing Conference in Clarksburg, WV, on April 30th to hear from a host of agencies involved in non-discrimination policy and practice. There is also a neat collaboration between the West Virginia Human Rights Council and the West Virginia Housing Development Fund on a Fair Housing Poster contest with the theme of Fair Housing Opens Doors, the 2019 national theme. The posters were due on April 19th and the information provided to teachers identified the importance of Fair Housing and the laws that prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodation. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners with prizes including monetary prizes for the students, and a monetary award to the first place winner’s school for purchasing school supplies.
This link will allow you to download the 2019 HUD Fair Housing Poster:
Fair Housing is a federal law and it applies to communities as well as federally funded activities. The law is a protection and it provides for maximum housing choice in our communities; it lessens racial, ethnic and economic concentrations of housing; it helps to de-segregate so there are no racially exclusive patterns in public housing; and it increases housing opportunities. Fair Housing should be a cooperative effort of those working in housing – mortgage lenders, home builders, local non-profits, local governments. Support fair housing – it’s the law!