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Denver Metro Fair Housing Center - Promoting Fair Housing For All
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Winter 2017 Newsletter
Greetings!

DMFHC has been busy over the winter months spreading the word about fair housing and making progress with our enforcement investigations. We celebrated Black History Month by screening an episode of the EPIX docu-series America Divided followed by an engaging discussion and activities. After watching the episode, DMFHC staff spoke to the connection between the housing topics covered by the documentary (including an interview with Fred Freiberg of the Fair Housing Justice Center) and DMFHC’s work in the community. Audience members shared feelings of anger and sadness regarding the reality of housing discrimination as well as a strengthened commitment to challenging this injustice in their communities. Several participants felt inspired to fill out DMFHC volunteer applications the spot!

Another recent development was the filing of a housing discrimination lawsuit against Fannie Mae by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 20 fair housing organizations, including DMFHC. The lawsuit alleges that Fannie Mae failed to maintain its foreclosed properties in communities of color, while maintaining those in predominantly white neighborhoods. Several of the Fannie Mae foreclosed homes named in the lawsuit are located in Denver and Aurora. As stated in the DMFHC and NFHA press release, "If Fannie Mae can adequately maintain real estate in white communities of Denver and Aurora, it is only fair that homes in Latino neighborhoods in those cities are maintained just as well.” For more information about the lawsuit, read the full press release here.   

As we identify more ways to educate the community about fair housing, DMFHC looks forward to the events we are planning for Fair Housing Month in April. We are happy to announce that our 3rd annual Fair Housing Gala will be held on Friday, April 21st from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at the DoubleTree Hotel at 3203 Quebec Street in Denver. There will be more community education opportunities during April for Fair Housing Month so stay tuned. For more gala information, please see below.

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at the Gala!

Sincerely,

Arturo T Alvarado
Executive Director
Denver Metro Fair Housing Center 
3280 Downing St, Suite B
Denver, CO  80205
720-279-4291
info@dmfhc.org
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Third Annual Fair Housing Gala:

Please join us to celebrate Fair Housing Month and recognize the crucial work being done by individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting equitable and integrated communities throughout the state of Colorado and the Denver Metro area. 

The Gala will be held on Friday, April 21st from 5:30 - 8:30 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel located at Quebec & Martin Luther King Boulevard, 3203 Quebec Street Denver, CO 80207. 

Speakers will be Congresswoman Diana DeGette as our keynote as well as special guest Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute and Fellow at the NAACP Defense Fund. Mr. Rothstein has graciously offered to do an early release of his book The Color of Law, on the history of residential segregation which has a publication date of May 2.

Single seats are available for purchase for $120 per ticket and table sponsorships are $1,200. 

For registration and other information please contact Alaina McWhorter at AMcWhorter@dmfhc.org or call DMFHC at 720-279-4291. 

 
Fair Housing Act Enforcement Updates:


DMFHC has resolved two disability-related fair housing complaints involving reasonable accommodations. Read up on our progress in enforcing the Fair Housing Act below:


DMFHC filed a fair housing complaint against a housing provider who repeatedly denied reasonable accommodation requests to a woman with a physical disability. The housing provider initially refused to provide a reserved parking space or allow the resident to move to a different unit that would be easier for her to navigate. Despite providing the housing provider with documentation from her doctor explaining her need for accommodation to move units the housing provider refused her request. After DMFHC got involved, the housing provider made the reasonable accommodations, however problems with parking persisted. The housing provider proceeded to fail to provide proper signage for the parking space or enforce the reserved parking. When the resident was unable to park in her reserved space because other residents were using it, management told her that if she didn't park in her space they would revoke the accommodation. Colorado Civil Rights Division found probable cause that discrimination had occurred or was likely to occur based on the denial of reasonable accommodations. The complaint was settled with the Colorado Civil Rights Division and requires the housing provider to complete fair housing training, inform residents and employees about fair housing rights, as well as pay damages to the victim of discrimination. 


In addition, DMFHC was contacted by another woman with a physical disability because her housing provider refused her request for priority status on the apartment complex’s reserved parking space wait list. The resident provided the housing provider with a letter from her doctor regarding her need for a reserved spot in order to minimize the walking distance to her unit.  As her advocate, DMFHC filed a fair housing complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division resulting in the housing provider granting the reasonable accommodation request. The resident has since been moved to the top of the apartment complex’s wait list and will receive the next available reserved parking space. The housing provider also agreed to require all staff to complete fair housing training focused on reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for people with disabilities.
 
Fair Housing Month Proclamations:

Join us in the tradition of celebrating April as fair housing month by sponsoring a proclamation for your jurisdiction!

Click here or here for sample proclamation language or contact Kathleen Ferrick at kferrick@dmfhc.org if you have any questions about the process.

Also, if you are planning any fair housing month activities or would like to, we would love to collaborate. Let us know how you will be participating and we will feature you in our fair housing month wrap up communications!

 
Fair Housing Tip

Federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination based on national origin and religion. Colorado state law also prohibits discrimination based on ancestry. These laws protect you regardless of your immigration status.

It is illegal for a housing provider to treat you differently in housing or housing-related transactions because of your immigration status, national origin, or religion. Prohibited behavior on behalf of housing providers includes*:

 
  • Refusing to rent to you because you are an immigrant or refugee or because of your religious faith;
  • Refusing to rent to you because you werenot born in the United States;
  • Telling you that you must speak English when outside of your apartment;
  • Charging you more rent or higher security deposit because of your national origin, immigration status, or because of your religious faith
  • Threatening to report you to the police or immigration authorities because of your immigration status
  • Asking you to remove your scarf, hijab, burka, keffiyah, kippah, or other religious clothing or other religious symbol
*This is not an exhaustive list of examples of prohibited behaviors by housing providers with regard to discrimination based on national origin, religion, and ancestry.
 
Volunteers needed!

DMFHC is always in need of fair housing testers of all ages and backgrounds to help us investigate housing discrimination. 

Testers are provided a stipend for their work and reimbursed for their mileage. 

If you or someone you know is interested in helping us achieve our mission email Kathleen Ferrick at kferrick@dmfhc.org or call 720-279-4294. 
If you or someone you know has been a victim of housing discrimination or has a question regarding the fair housing act, contact DMFHC at (720) 279-4291.
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The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication.  Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.






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Denver Metro Fair Housing Center · 3401 Quebec St. Suite 6009 · Denver, CO 80207 · USA

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