Outreach and Training
With recognized expertise in the complexity of fair housing laws and practices, the FHCGB is a respected source of fair housing training services. Each year, we provide comprehensive training to multiple housing authorities, public agencies, housing associations, realty agencies, mortgage companies, and housing search professionals.
Catherine: "We had a guest, Jeremy, who lost his home after he got laid off and he and his family had to split up in different shelters, because not all shelters take men and women together. Our Case Manager realized he would qualify for a Section 8 voucher and helped him get it. That way he could leave our shelter and get his wife and four kids under one roof again. He saw an advertisement for a place that looked like it would suit the family needs and the voucher would cover the rent and utilities. So, perfect, right? But when he called, the answering machine said that the apartment was not a Section 8 unit and wouldnÕt be good for children because it had lead paint. He was so discouraged! But luckily our shelter staff had been through a training with FHCGB so the case worker was up on the housing discrimination rules and thought Jeremy might have a case. It happens all the time, but you canÕt discriminate against people for having children or for having subsidies. When FHCGB did a test they found evidence of discrimination and they connected him to the Legal Services Center in Jamaica Plain. They used the testing evidence to get a temporary restraining order so the landlord couldnÕt rent the apartment until his case was resolved. The judge ordered that the landlord de-lead the unit and let Jeremy rent it. But by then he had found another apartment nearby, so he chose to get a cash settlement instead. And that money was helpful in getting the family settled in.COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Discriminatory housing practices affect us all, limiting our experiences and impacting the long-term economic well-being of the state. In addition to our fair housing training services, the FHCGB engages concerned residents in the regionÕs suburban communities to build awareness and action on the issue. The FHCGB provides best practices and tool kits for preventing and responding to discrimination and guides local advocates in activities designed to make all of our communities welcoming places to live.
Greg: "I heard that FHCGB did training for different groups in the housing market, like Realtors. bankers etc. So I was pleased to see them do a training for planning board members from area towns. These are local people volunteering in their towns, most of whom have no formal training on issues of zoning and development. They are rarely aware that their decisions have legal, civil rights implications. FHCGB did a great job with the training. We all learned something, even those of us that thought we understood what the laws say. They had some useful guidelines and tools for us to use in our work that we can share with other colleagues to help prevent discriminatory practices from happening and to recognize it when it does."
To schedule a training for your business or organization, contact the Center.