Interfaith Action Network Monthly
November 2018

Ready, Set, Action
Halloween is over and the season of giving is about to begin.

We have had an action-packed October, with even more exciting events and opportunities ahead of us. For example, we released and educational video for deaf and hard of hearing persons in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, led and participated in several educational events, and advanced our advocacy work, including preparing for a policy summit coming at the end of November.

This coming month is about being thankful. And we are thankful to you for your continued support and partnership in this work. So let's look at what we have been up to and how you can continue to engage in the fight for fair housing.
Below are some educational resources we recommend for you to learn more about fair housing.

  • Some of the ways that you can advance fair housing include learning about the history of discrimination and segregation, recommending a book about fair housing or civil rights for your book club, and teaching your children about discrimination and fair housing. This month, we have several book recommendations for both adult and children readers that will help you learn more about fair housing:

  • City of Segregation: One Hundred Years of Struggle for Housing in Los Angeles by Andrea Gibbons: This book documents one hundred years of struggle against the residential racial segregation in Los Angeles and the persistent racist ideologies that continue to divide this city. Learn more here.

  • Segregation by Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities by Jessica Trounstine: This book examines the local government's role in perpetuating racial and economic segregation in American cities, tracked through 100 years worth of quantitative and qualitative data from thousands of American cities. Learn more here.

  • A City Divided: The Racial Landscape of Kansas City, 1900 - 1960 by Sherry Lamb Schirmer: This book focuses on how white citizens' perception of race shaped the physical landscape and culture of Kansas City, particularly in terms of race relations, land use, and policing of crime. Learn more here.

  • All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman: This New York Times bestselling children's book follows a group of children through a day at school, where everyone is welcome regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Learn more here.

  • Someday is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Jade Johnson: This illustrated children's book tells the story of Clara Luper, a pioneering civil rights activist you led one of the first lunch-counter sit-ins in America to desegregate restaurants and stores. Learn more here.

  • There have been several news articles published in the past several weeks featuring the FHJC's work. Two articles of note that we recommend are a City Limits article about the work of the Regional Affordable and Fair Housing Roundtable, co-convened by the FHJC and Enterprise Community Partners, and an article in the Urban Omnibus about New York City's commitment to the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) process and the challenge of exploring and addressing the systemic and historic barriers to integration within the city.

  • We can also share an update regarding a federal fair housing lawsuit filed by the FHJC and two individual complainants in April 2018 alleging that New York State and four adult homes discriminate against people with disabilities who use wheelchairs. One of the individual plaintiffs, an elderly woman with disabilities, alleges that she was barred from returning to VillageCare once she began using a wheelchair. On September 10, 2018, Federal District Judge Vernon S. Broderick granted, in part, a preliminary injunction that directed Village Housing Development Fund to allow Ms. Doe to return to her home. Click here to read more about this preliminary injunction.

  • Last week, a man living with AIDS who attempted to rent an apartment using a rental subsidy filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against 165 Sherman Avenue, L.L.C., PMG Real Estate Corp. and Pablo M. Garcia alleging discrimination based on source of income in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, through their broker, refused to do business with the plaintiff, Mr. Campbell, after he revealed that he had a subsidy from New York City’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA). The FHJC conducted a testing investigation that corroborated the alleged source of income discrimination. Read more about this lawsuit here.

  • Last month, we released a new educational video, "A Home for Henry," which tells the story of Henry, an elderly Deaf man who recently started residing in a nursing home. In the 12-minute video, Henry relates his personal experience searching for a nursing home and his interaction with a nursing home administrator who developed an effective communication plan that would meet his needs. "A Home for Henry" encourages elderly people who are deaf or hard of hearing to exercise their fair housing rights, and provides administrators and staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities with valuable information about types of auxiliary aids that can ensure effective communication with deaf residents. To watch "A Home for Henry," click here.

  • 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.
Time to get out and advocate in your community! Below are some advocacy updates and ways that you can get involved.

  • This past month, our nation witnessed horrific acts of violence that were clearly motivated by hate in the form of racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism. For people of all faiths and justice seekers everywhere, this is not a time for complacency, wishful thinking, or fearful introspection. Instead, it is a moment when we need to collectively act – to work together to root out hate, bias, and discrimination and begin to heal the divisions in our communities. That is why we must all work together to build the beloved community in our region. Read our full statement in response to the recent acts of hate and intolerance here.

  • Save the date for the Regional Affordable & Fair Housing Summit on November 27, 2018 at the CUNY Graduate Center. This full-day summit will bring together an assemblage of fair housing and affordable housing organizations, experts, and advocates for information sharing as we debut our Regional Affordable and Fair Housing Roundtable's policy platform. Click here for more information or to RSVP for the Summit.

  • On October 15, 2018, the FHJC submitted comments in response to HUD’s August 16, 2018, Federal Register Notice, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Streamlining and Enhancements.” The duty of federal agencies to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH) has been an obligation under the law since the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act 50 years ago. In these submitted comments, the FHJC makes the case that the AFFH rule is vital for adequately addressing the historic and systemic barriers to creating truly inclusive communities; that the FHJC work proves that these historic and systemic barriers still limit housing choices and perpetuate residential segregation based on race; and that without a robust commitment by the federal government to enforce the Fair Housing Act and fulfill the mandate made with this historic law, fair housing will not be a reality for many in our nation. Read the FHJC's comments 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:

  • On October 23, the Fair Housing Justice Center, New York Appleseed, The Century Foundation, and St. Ann & the Holy Trinity hosted a free, public event, "The Harm of Segregation: Why Where We Live and Learn Matters." It was an inspiring evening of thoughtful discussion about the intersections between housing and school segregation, and the ways that people can get involved to address these systemic problems in their community to affect real change. If you are interested in hosting an event in your community, click here.

  • Our friends at the Southwest Fair Housing Council (SWFHC) in Arizona are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act around the theme of building the beloved community. Check out a video of Alex Jimenez of Alexclamation Art Works talking about the art piece, "The Beloved Community," which she is creating as part of the SWFHC's 50th anniversary celebrations.

  • We are training representatives of diverse faith communities into leaders and educators will help us achieve this mission. Fair Housing Leaders will attend an in depth training where they will develop a fluency in fair housing issues and in how to use the FHJC’s Fair Housing Toolkit, among other resources, to educate and engage their community. If you are interested in attending a leadership training and volunteering to become a Fair Housing Leader you can email the FHJC’s Education Coordinator Caitlin Mroz at

“We are living in an historic moment. We are each called to take part in a great transformation. Our survival as a species is threatened by global warming, economic meltdown, and an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. Yet these threats offer an opportunity to awaken as an interconnected and beloved community.”

- Desmond Tutu, Forward to Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty
by Anne Herbert and Margaret M. Pave
Fair Housing Justice Center | 30-30 Northern Blvd., Suite 302, Long Island City, NY 11101
| (212) 400 - 8201 | (212) 400 - 8203 |