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Denver Metro Fair Housing Center - Promoting Fair Housing For All
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Fall 2016 Newsletter
Greetings!

As we transition into the end of 2016, DMFHC has lots of news and important updates to share with our community. It’s been an eventful few months as we were recently selected as a recipient of new HUD funding, settled several Fair Housing complaints, and have been busy with our outreach & education efforts.

On September 30, HUD announced that DMFHC would be awarded 2 competitive fair housing grants. This support will help us further our housing discrimination investigations involving lending, REO maintenance, home sales, insurance, disability accommodation/modification, new construction of multi-family housing for design and construction violations, and rental housing. In regard to outreach & education, we are looking forward to increasing our presence in the community through providing training events for housing consumers and housing professionals as well as educating underserved populations about their fair housing rights. This will be a statewide outreach effort to be executed in partnership with the Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center (CREEC) and the State of Colorado Division of Housing.

Additionally, we have made gains in holding housing providers who violate the Fair Housing Act accountable for their actions as described in the enforcement section of this newsletter. DMFHC’s most recently settled complaints alleged both familial status and disability-based discrimination.
All of this progress brings us closer to ending housing discrimination and realizing our ultimate goal of truly integrated and inclusive communities. With this in mind, as we move into the winter holidays, we ask you to consider donating to support our work. There is no better time to do this than on Tuesday, December 6th which is Colorado Gives Day. 


Thank you,

Arturo T Alvarado
Executive Director 
3280 Downing St., Suite B
Denver, CO  80205
720-279-4291

info@dmfhc.org
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Enforcement:

DMFHC has settled and/or resolved several Fair Housing complaints in recent months. Read up on our progress in enforcing the Fair Housing Act below:
 
DMFHC filed a complaint against a housing provider for refusing to provide an approved reasonable modification for a woman with a disability. The complainant needed the old and damaged carpet in her unit replaced because it was exacerbating her respiratory problems. Because the property receives HUD funding, it is subject to section 504 and therefore required to cover the cost of the modification. The complainant received new hardwood floors in her unit a few months ago. When asked about how DMFHC had assisted her she said:
  • "The advocacy, information, help, guidance and recommendations I received were extremely helpful and greatly enhanced by quality of life once the changes were made to the flooring in my unit."
 
A Fair Housing complaint brought forward by DMFHC alleging discrimination against families with children was settled by the Department of Justice in July. Through the use of fair housing testers at Westland Apartments in Lakewood, DMFHC uncovered the existence of a discriminatory policy that restricted families with children to a separate building in the apartment complex. Read the full DOJ press release here. 
 
DMFHC filed a complaint against Katchen & Company and the owners of the Langford Apartments in Littleton for discrimination against families with children and people with disabilities. DMFHC as well as the bona fide complainant were represented by the Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center (CREEC). During the fair housing investigation conducted by DMFHC, fair housing testers were informed by the management company’s employee that children were not allowed to live in the building. In addition, testers were told that service animals would not be allowed for people with disabilities. For more information about the case, please read the full press release here. 
Outreach & Education:
 
Over the summer we teamed up with Amy Robertson from the Civil Rights Education & Enforcement Center (CREEC) to provide Fair Housing education to folks getting ready to purchase their first home. It was a great to be able to inform housing consumers about their fair housing rights and let them know about the services DMFHC & CREEC provide.
 
We also participated in community events including DHA Homebuyers Fair and the Montbello 50th Anniversary celebration where we set up Fair Housing information booths. What fun!
 
Last but not least, we provided Fair Housing training to housing professionals and advocates in September. We always appreciate the opportunity to educate our community about fair housing. If your organization is interested in hosting a Fair Housing training or presentation, please reach out to DMFHC Fair Housing Outreach Specialist, Kathleen Ferrick at
kferrick@dmfhc.org.
New HUD Memos:
 
We want to take this opportunity to bring attention to 3 recent HUD memos that are of great relevance to several populations protected under the Fair Housing Act. The memos focus on LEP (Limited English Proficiency), Gender Identity and Survivors of Domestic Violence respectively. Please review these memos as they have significant Fair Housing implications.
Fair Housing Tip:

Gender Identity: In the recently released HUD guidance concerning gender identity, there are new requirements for service providers receiving HUD funding. Specifically, service providers operating same-sex facilities and shelters for homeless populations are not permitted to exclude transgender or gender nonconforming people. Transgender or gender nonconforming people should not be required to prove their gender or be turned away from vital services based on their gender identity. 

According to the memo, "Transgender women in particular reported that they are excluded from women’s shelters, forcing them to live on the streets or to seek shelter in male-only facilities where they’re forced to disguise their gender identity or face abuse or violence." 

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.

 
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.






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

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