April is Fair Housing Month
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Fair Housing Act which makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or family status.
Every year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its fair housing partner organizations pursue enforcement actions, work to enhance the public’s awareness of their housing rights, and emphasize the importance of ending housing discrimination.
In March 2019, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) adopted the county’s One Fairfax Policy, which provides a framework to advance equity in alignment with the county’s visions and priorities. The adoption of this policy ensures that the FCRHA considers equity when making decisions about the development and delivery of housing policies, programs and services. The One Fairfax Policy defines equity as:
“The commitment to promote fairness and justice in the formation of public policy that results in all residents – regardless of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, socio-economic status or neighborhood of residence or other characteristics – having opportunity to fully participate in the region’s economic vitality, contribute to its readiness for the future, and connect to its assets and resources.”
The Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs (OHREP) enforces the County’s Human Rights Ordinance and the Fair Housing Act. Through its role in enforcement and education and outreach activities, the agency works to prevent discrimination in the residential market and ensure fair and equitable access to housing opportunities for all people in Fairfax County. The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of life as we know it – even fair housing. OHREP released an animated video in February, which explains many of the issues which have emerged due to COVID-19 and help you understand and protect your housing rights.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting Fairfax County’s Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs at 703-324-2953 (711 TTY). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.
2021 Free Fair Housing Training The Fairfax County Office of Human Rights & Equity Programs (OHREP), in collaboration with the Equal Rights Center, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, and the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®, will host a virtual fair housing presentation and training session on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET. Staff from the Equal Rights Center and Legal Services of Northern Virginia will conduct the training. The webinar is FREE . Register here.