Interfaith Action Network Monthly
January 2019

Ready, Set, Action
Happy New Year!

Now that 2018 has come to a close, we are looking ahead to how we can most effectively advance fair housing across the region this year. We have several exciting policy items that we will be advocating for at the start of this year, and we have more educational resources in development to help people learn about and exercise their fair housing rights. Plus, this month we are launching our Fair Housing Leaders program, so stayed tuned to updates on that.

We hope you will join us this year as we continue to work to build the beloved community!
Educate
Below are some educational resources we recommend for you to learn more about fair housing.

  • We have yet another book recommendation for you to learn more about fair housing - Facing Segregation: Housing Policy Solutions for a Stronger Society edited by Molly M. Metzger and Henry S. Webber. This book brings together leading scholars, policy experts, and practitioners to reflect on how to use housing policy to reduce segregation. Learn more here.

  • On December 5, 2018, the Fair Housing Justice Center reached a settlement with the remaining defendants in in a federal lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) in November 2015. The lawsuit, which stemmed from an eight-month systemic testing investigation by the FHJC, alleged that the operators of dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities refused to make American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter services available to deaf and hard of hearing residents. Though denying the allegations, an agreement to resolve the housing discrimination lawsuit has been reached with Allure Rehabilitation Services LLC, Cassena Care LLC, and Centers for Specialty Care Group, LLC, and 31 affiliated nursing home facilities located in the New York City region. Learn more about this settlement here.

  • Let's talk zoning. Exclusionary zoning rules that control the kind of housing that can be built or limit development of single family homes can have the effect of perpetuating racial segregation and stand in the way of housing affordability. Recognizing this, Minneapolis just passed a law to end single-family home zoning and allow for more density in an innovative effort to address the issue of residential segregation in the Twin City. Read a recent Slate article about how activism and education around these issues helped to create the political environment necessary to pass this important legislation in Minneapolis.

  • Fair Housing Toolkit现在有中文版了。¡El Toolkit de Equidad de Vivienda ahora está en español! The Fair Housing Toolkit is now in Chinese (Simplified) and Spanish! Check out the translated versions of the Fair Housing Toolkit (as well as the English language version) here.
Advocate
Time to get out and advocate in your community! Below are some advocacy updates and ways that you can get involved.

  • Let's talk source of income discrimination. Housing discrimination based on lawful source of income, or where the money a prospective tenant pays the rent comes from, is a problem across the state of New York. However, lawful source of income is only a protected characteristic under local fair housing laws for seven counties or municipalities across the state, leaving no legal remedy for people who face this discrimination in cities or towns where source of income is not considered a protected characteristic. For this reason, the #BanIncomeBiasNY Coalition, which the FHJC is a founding member of, is working to amend the State’s Human Rights law to expand the protected classes to include lawful source of income. Click here to join the #BanIncomeBiasNY Coalition. Also, watch Liz's story of her experience of encountering this form of discrimination and exercising her rights so that she could find a home for her and her daughter.

  • Last month, we shared the working paper for the Regional Affordable and Fair Housing Roundtable's policy agenda, "Closing the Divide: Creating Equitable, Inclusive, and Affordable Communities." This January, we will be releasing the finalized policy agenda, so stayed tuned to see the final result of our yearlong Roundtable process and to find out how you can be part of the work to close the divide in housing!

  • Wondering how you can advance fair housing in your community? Check out our list of 30 Ways to Advance Fair Housing here.
Building the Beloved Community
Want to get involved in the Building the Beloved Community interfaith initiative in some other way? Below are some updates from our interfaith initiative:

  • Are you a member of a group, congregation or community that you think would benefit from learning more about their fair housing rights and how to combat housing discrimination? Invite us to host a fair housing presentation in your community and we can do that work for you - just fill out the form on our website and we will be in touch to set it up.

  • Interested in diving deeper into fair housing issues and digging into what housing inequality means for your community? You sound like a fair housing leader! Email FHJC’s Education Coordinator Caitlin Mroz at cmroz@fairhousingjustice.org to be the first to know about the upcoming interactive workshops we will be holding to train new leaders on how to make effective change where they live.

“The larger your beloved community, the more you can accomplish in the world.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Fair Housing Justice Center | 30-30 Northern Blvd., Suite 302, Long Island City, NY 11101
| (212) 400 - 8201 | (212) 400 - 8203 | www.fairhousingjustice.org