December 2015

Date: 
12/30/2015 - 12:00pm

Happy New Year from the Fair Housing Center!

In reviewing the year 2015, the Board of Trustees and the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center team would like to thank everyone who has supported our efforts to eradicate discrimination in housing and residential racial segregation. We need a community of public and private partners, volunteers and practitioners to support our mission. In many ways 2015 was a good year for fair housing and civil rights. The Supreme Court upheld the uneven impact framework as a way of challenging policies that have a discriminatory impact, without having to prove discriminatory intent. HUD issued a new rule to improve compliance with the fair housing law mandate: that HUD and all of its beneficiaries promote fair housing in the affirmative. We also welcome the ruling of the Supreme Court that the constitutional right to same sex marriage exists.

However, there were also very disturbing news, as we saw the urgent need to combat all forms of racial inequality, injustice, and violence in the criminal justice system. Because residential racial segregation is a primary form of racial inequality and contributes to racial disparities beyond housing, our work to end discrimination in housing and promote the creation of more inclusive communities is more important than ever. Thanks again for supporting our mission, if you would like to get more involved in our work, please contact us at info@massfairhousing.org or by phone at 413-539-9796.

We invite you to join us to celebrate our new office and the new year in early February! More details will come.

Reviewing the Year at the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center

MFHC had a very productive year. More than 325 complaints of housing discrimination were investigated in our area that includes five counties in Central and Western Massachusetts. We provide fair housing and fair loan training to more than 750 participants. Approximately 500 civil rights lawyers attended our Ninth Annual Housing and Civil Rights Conference in April 2015. In addition, with our help, we reached agreements for lead paint cleaning in 8 units and reasonable accommodations for tenants with Disabilities in 24 cases. We also provide individualized support and counseling to 13 section 8 beneficiaries seeking housing mobility.

In October we moved to a new office with more space and better conditions! We started the search for a new space in late 2013, and after a two-year search we moved to the first place we saw. We moved to an office across the hall in front of our original office. The largest space will allow us to accommodate the growing number of our practitioners and volunteers and to offer fair housing training for groups of 25-30 people.

We look forward to seeing you at our tenth annual Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, April 8 - 9, 2015 at the Springfield Sheraton Hotel, Monarch Place Springfield, MA.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2016 year!

The Massachusetts Fair Housing Center appreciates the generous support of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of Springfield, and the United Way.