Every April is Fair Housing Month. This year, 2013, marks the 45th anniversaryof the passage of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act. The Act outlaws discrimination in the sale, rental or financing of housing because of race, color, familial status, religion, sex, physical/mental disability, marital status or national origin. In April 1968, during the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Johnson moved for passage of the Fair Housing Act to bring the nation forward and together. Every April, the nation celebrates the strides we've made, and the work that remains to be done.
The Fair Housing Act reflects Americans willingness and determination to ensure proper housing and services exist to all, through all stages of one's life, so they can remain in the community as they age. It also enforces housing opportunities and supportive services for those who have mobility or sensory impairment, developmental or emotional disabilities, or mental illness. It enables low income working families to compete in the housing market and provides affordable housing to rent or buy.
Fair housing initiatives by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) include expanding its efforts to work with states and local communities to reinforce a federal requirement that they promote diverse, inclusive housing opportunities when spending federal funds. For the first time ever, HUD is examining the prevalence of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and discrimination based on a tenant's use of government assistance to pay rent.
Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs (LACCA)
LACCA worked with the Regional Planning Commission to produce a home owners/renters brochure, "Check Your Home". The brochure should help, especially, first time renters and buyers to better evaluate their home. The brochure, Check Your Home, is available here.
Fair Housing Public Service Announcements
LACCA created four public service annoucements (PSA) to raise awareness within the community about the faces of housing discrimination. Click on the links below to view each PSA. Each house below is a link to a differenct PSA!
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) enforces state laws against discrimination. Learn how to recognize and report signs of discriminatory treatment with the OCRC's Fair Housing Guide, or by contacting Veronica McLaurine Director of Housing Services at LACCA (419) 227-0158 ext 139 firstname.lastname@example.org
There are various reasons for local communities to document and assess the extent and quality of their neighborhoods. First and foremost, such planning activities are useful for documenting and assessing a community's ability to provide its residents with a safe and healthy environment in which to live. Documentation of the neighborhood environment is used to assess whether it promotes the well-being, safety, and security of its occupants, including its residents and their visitors, businesses and their customers, and the passerby's from within the larger community. Such an effort requires an analysis of the environment which documents the range of housing alternatives, available economic opportunities, and to the extent feasible, the social, cultural, educational, and recreational activities present and/or that need to be fostered or pursued.
Secondly, such documentation enables political subdivisions to critically evaluate the conditions in order to efficiently utilize the limited resources locally available and allows them to develop warranted plans, programs, and capital improvement schedules. Documentation prompts local community leaders to assess redevelopment activities. In addition, the community needs to define its financial ability to provide the necessary infrastructure to support and/or bolster a neighborhood's existing and future housing/employment alternatives, its social, cultural, and/or recreational opportunities. In times of fiscal constraints and ever-competing demands on fiscal resources, such studies can help justify the technical and financial support necessary to accomplish specific programs or projects.
Finally, documentation provides for open communication and furthers dialogue between neighborhood residents, businesses, and community leaders, establishing the basis for discussion and can assist local governments and community groups in developing appropriate and mutually agreed upon plans, programs, and proposals. Neighborhood based studies can provide the technical basis from which partnerships can develop between local governments and concerned citizens groups.
ACTIVATE ALLEN COUNTY