9:00 am to 11:00 am
The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan is pleased to offer a FREE training on fair housing rights for seniors and those serving seniors in Kent County.
Participants must serve and/or be advocates for seniors in Kent County.
#Defend Civil Rights Campaign Launches to Protect the Disparate Impact Regulation
In an extreme move against a core civil rights protection, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is proposing a rule that would allow financial institutions, insurance companies, and housing providers to engage in covert discriminatory practices by dramatically weakening disparate impact liability under the Fair Housing Act. For more than 45 years, "disparate impact" has been a crucial legal tool to fight discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity. This protection means that companies and individuals covered under the Fair Housing Act must choose policies that apply fairly to all people. Some policies that seem neutral in theory can unfairly exclude certain groups of people or segregate particular communities in practice. This protection allows us to identify and prevent harmful, inequitable, and unjustified policies, thereby ensuring that everyone can be treated fairly.
If the changes are allowed, a landlord could evict victims of domestic violence based on common leases that hold all tenants, even victims, responsible for crimes in their homes. A bank could charge excessive fees or rates to certain groups seeking home mortgage loans, creating high barriers to homeownership for people of color or people with disabilities. An apartment building could impose occupancy restrictions forcing families with children to rent more expensive apartments.
The devastating effect of this proposed rule would extend well beyond housing, jeopardizing civil rights protections in education, employment, healthcare, the environment, transportation, and the criminal justice system. We must not allow this rule to move forward.
The #DefendCivilRights campaign is led by the National Fair Housing Alliance, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Poverty and Race Research Action Council, American Civil Liberties Union, and Center for Responsible Lending.
Where people live impacts every aspect of their lives - access to good jobs, quality schools, a clean and healthy environment, accessible transportation, stable credit, and much more. Everyone should have a place to call home that connects them to the opportunities they need to thrive. Tell HUD why you oppose this harmful and cruel attack. Your comment will be sent directly to regulations.gov. Comments are due by October 18, 2019. To learn more about disparate impact or how you can support the #DefendCivilRights campaign, view its website.
City of Grand Rapids expands Fair Housing Protections
The City of Grand Rapids has expanded Fair Housing protections available to City residents through the passage of a revised human rights ordinance on August 27, 2019. It prohibits discrimination in housing, among other areas, based on actual or perceived color, race, religion or creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genotype, age, marital status, medical condition, disability, height, weight, or source of lawful income. The ordinance will take effect on December 1, 2019. Read the City's press release, the proposed ordinance, and local coverage of the August 27th decision.
New Occupancy Standard Tools Available
The FHCWM is pleased to now offer a complementary guidebook and a Square Footage Calculator Tool to assist in determining reasonable occupancy limits based on local restrictions. These resources serve to assist condominium associations, landlords, property owners and managers, and municipalities enforcing occupancy codes in determining how to set occupancy limitations with consideration of fair housing laws. While the guidebook is geared towards Kent County, the resources and tools provide helpful best practice information regardless of geography. Learn more and download these tools here.