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Denver Metro Fair Housing Center - Promoting Fair Housing For All
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Winter 2015 Newsletter
Greetings!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from Denver Metro Fair Housing Center! DMFHC is busy finishing up an exciting year, filled with many firsts and exciting accomplishments! To highlight a few of our achievements, DMFHC:
  • Achieved 26 positive compliant resolutions in 2015 which have resulted in housing providers having to make changes to their practices and policies to follow the Fair Housing Act. 
  • Hosted our first Fair Housing Gala raising nearly $40,000
  • Coordinated an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Summit with local and national speakers. See the AFFH page of our website for further details and presentations from the event
  • Expanded our office staff to six full time and one part time employee.
  • Moved our office to a more central location to the heart of Denver in Five Points
  • Had the results of two positive case resolutions published in Fair Housing - Fair Lending, a national publication that highlights fair housing activities around the Country
  • Launched a new website design at www.dmfhc.org 
  • Received our first three year Fair Housing Initiatives Program grant from HUD and local funding contracts with the Colorado Division of Housing and Arapahoe County
  • Staff participation in three community service projects
  • Assisted 20 families by providing home accessibility modifications with community partners

First Annual Fair Housing Gala
 
We are grateful for the dedication of our entire staff and board, and the constant support of our community partners for making this year such a success. During this season of giving, if you would like to help DMFHC continue our work of ending housing discrimination in the Denver metro area, act now! DMFHC accepts donations through PayPal on our website. Every dollar spent will go towards necessary trainings, enforcement, and outreach needed to uphold the Fair Housing Act and promote the importance of inclusive communities.

We are looking forward to the exciting year ahead and all the opportunities available to pursue our mission of eliminating housing discrimination and promoting free housing choice for all.
Thank you again for your continued support,
 
The DMFHC Team
Reminder

DMFHC has relocated! Our new address is:

3280 Downing Street, Suite B
Denver, CO 80205

Our phone number has remained the same: 720-279-4291.
Case Update, taken from the December 2015 edition of “Fair Housing - Fair Lending”

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination on the basis of familial status against the owners and manager of the Westland Apartments in Lakewood, Colorado. The government alleges that Lakewood owners Roger and Eileen Loecher and resident manager Miriam Yehudah implemented a pattern or practice of generally assigning families with minor children to apartments in the rear building and not assigning families with children to available apartments in the front building. The Justice Department filed the lawsuit after HUD issued a charge of discrimination in a complaint filed by the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center. The government has asked the court to award damages to the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center and any person harmed by the alleged discriminatory conduct. It also seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and civil penalties. 

 
Positive Case Resolution, taken from the October 2015 edition of “Fair Housing - Fair Lending”

The Denver Metro Fair Housing Center and a complainant have entered into a conciliation agreement with unnamed respondents. The complainant was a victim of domestic violence. The Fair Housing Center and the individual complainant alleged that the respondents treated her differently because of her sex and as a result of her status as a victim of domestic violence. The respondents denied the allegations.

The respondents will pay the individual complainant and the Fair Housing Center a total of $45,000 to resolve the complaint. They will also begin to use a lease form that ensures protection of tenants on the basis of their status as victims of domestic violence. 
Fair Housing Tip

Did you know one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and 47% of women in Colorado aged 18 and older (approximately 879,000 women) have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime?
  
Discrimination can take many forms and individuals that are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault are frequently subject to discriminatory and differential treatment. Denying, refusing to negotiate, and/or providing different terms, conditions and privileges of the rental of a dwelling are acts of housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and Colorado law.  People who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault must be granted the same opportunities in selecting homes as everyone else. 
  
Below are links for more information on Fair Housing Act rights and responsibilities when housing survivors of domestic violence:
 
-HUD Memo: Assessing Claims of Housing Discrimination against Victims of Domestic Violence under the Fair Housing Act (FHAct) and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) -http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=11-domestic-violence-memo.pdf

-Survivors of domestic violence need fair housing, not eviction - http://blog.hud.gov/index.php/2014/10/31/survivors-domestic-violence-fair-housing-eviction/
New Employee

DMFHC welcomes Miguel Trujillo as the latest employee to our team and a Fair Housing Specialist! Miguel is eager to contribute to the mission of expanding housing equity in the community. Prior experience as an AmeriCorps member had him working for non-profits focused on eliminating disparities in the immigrant and refugee community. He has also worked for various non-partisan think tanks conducting policy research. Miguel holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Utah and enjoys exploring Colorado’s outdoors on his free time.


 
Testimonial

“I truly enjoyed the summit Denver Metro Fair Housing Center put together.  Though I've been in the housing industry for 15 years, this was the first event I've attended that was specifically on [Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing].  The subject was covered in so many different aspects, and it could not have been done any better. I commend your organization for doing a fantastic job. And, I hope you put together future events.” - AFFH Summit Participant, November 2015



Carlotta LaNier speaking at the AFFH Summit
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 give us a call 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.