Did you miss any of CHAPA’s social media posts in honor of Fair Housing Month? Don’t worry…we’ve got you covered with the comprehensive round-up. Just because Fair Housing Month is over, it doesn’t mean you can’t commit to learning more about it and working to improve housing access in your community. Feel free to use and share all of these resources and don’t hesitate to reach out to our Municipal Engagement Team, Dana LeWinter and Whitney Demetrius, for assistance. Download this page as a PDF at the link.
- Municipal Engagement Associate, Whitney Demetrius, and the rest of us at CHAPA are looking forward to sharing our Fair Housing videos, facts, and resources all month long for Fair Housing Month 2020. Check out what Whitney had to say.
- Bob Van Meter, from Housing for All in Acton, is working with JALSA on a curriculum on the history of housing discrimination and its impacts. If you are looking for a book this Fair Housing Month, check out Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law. Bob has been in this field for years, but he shares that this book really changed his perspective. Check out some of his initial insights here.
- Local action matters! Why is Arlington creating a Fair Housing Action plan that goes above and beyond what is required? Listen as Director of Planning and Community Development, Jennifer Raitt, explains why it’s more important than ever to be active, vigilant, and forceful in affirmatively furthering fair housing and creating equitable outcomes.
- Inspired by Jennifer Raitt’s video on Arlington’s Fair Housing plan? Want to get started in your own community? Check out this “How To” from Alexis Smith of MAPC. She explains that you will need to look at data in a different way, and go beyond data, to get the best results.
- As Nadine Cohen from Greater Boston Legal Services reminds us, “Fair Housing is not only the law, it is the right thing for all of our communities.” Listen as Nadine explains the origins and importance of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which requires that we all actively work towards creating Fair Housing. Unfortunately, HUD suspended this rule in 2018 and is now proposing a watered down version. Nadine urges us all to continue this work, despite changes to the rule, to ensure that communities are open and welcoming to people of all backgrounds and abilities, not only in Fair Housing Month.
Videos and Audio Clips:
- The Fair Housing Act was passed just one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. To get you started this Fair Housing Month, take a look at the Seven Days documentary, released in 2018 by Nationwide and the National Fair Housing Alliance in honor of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act.
- Have you been playing more board games since being stuck at home? Check out this clip from Adam Ruins Everything on “The Disturbing History of the Suburbs.” Settlers of the Suburbs: Redlining Edition is unlike any game you have ever played, but based on the real history of how government policies led to segregation that still affects us today. Featuring NY Times reporter Nikole Hannah Jones.
- Think Fair Housing is just history? In 2016, the Fair Housing Justice Center found landlords giving different information about unit availability to people based on their race. This is what happened and it’s not fair.
- As Mayor Marty Walsh says “In Boston, we believe that a strong city is a caring community where everyone knows that they belong.” Thank you for elevating Fair Housing this month and beyond.
- The National Fair Housing Alliance reminds us that landlords who ask for sexual favors in exchange for rent are violating fair housing laws. No one has to be a victim of sexual harassment. Fair housing laws protect against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
- We can’t get enough of this adorable video based on the winning entry to a California Fair Housing Month poster contest. Follow along as John comes to life and explores what Fair Housing means.
TV Shows and Movies:
- Are you looking for something to watch while stuck at home? Check out HBO’s “Show Me A Hero.” The six-part miniseries depicts the true story of Yonkers, where a federal judge issued a desegregation order mandating that low-income housing be built in the city’s middle-class, white neighborhoods.
- Fair housing and rights for persons with disabilities intersect in many ways. The Fair Housing Act protects both against discrimination based on disability and requires reasonable accommodations. Check out this new Obama-produced Netflix documentary, Crip Camp, to learn more about the birth of the Disability Rights Movement.
- The Color of Law highlights that yesterday’s actions intentionally created segregated communities and require intentional responses. Are you in a book club or part of a local housing advocacy organization? Why not make The Color of Law your discussion book this month? We promise you will learn something new and spark some good conversations about what fair housing means today and what you can do locally.
- Running out of things to read at home? Spend the last weekend in Fair Housing Month with a good book that honors fair housing. The Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research has compiled a great Fair Housing reading list. There is something on here for everyone, including kids and young adults. Which one is your favorite?
- Wondering what Fair Housing has to do with the current COVID-19 crisis? Reports of increased discrimination against Asian-Americans puts them at risk of being victims of housing discrimination too, but the Fair Housing Act protects against discrimination on the basis of national origin. Especially now, when Housing is Health Care, we need Fair Housing more than ever.
- “When you factor in redlining and economic injustice, Black and Latinx people are already more likely to face longer commutes, live in food deserts, and suffer from air pollution in neighborhoods near factories, and are less likely to have access to good health care.” With coronavirus, racism is the underlying condition from Jenee Osterheldt of the Boston Globe.
- Great to see this column on Fair Housing Month by the City of Newton Fair Housing Committee! Advocates in Newton have been working on fair housing since the 60s, when African-Americans in West Newton had their homes taken to make way for the Massachusetts Turnpike and then denied alternative housing in Newton because of racial discrimination.
- Have Fair Housing complaints increased year over year? How many complaints are initiated by persons with disabilities being denied fair access? Do renters or homeowners file more Fair Housing Complaints? Find the answers to these questions and more in the National Fair Housing Alliance 2019 Fair Housing Trends Report, and check out the infographic too.
- Worried about your kids grades while you homeschool? Did you know that the federal government used to assign grades to neighborhoods? Neighborhoods graded "D” were deemed hazardous and colored red, hence the term “redlining”. These maps had, and still have, immense impacts on racial segregation, intergenerational poverty, and the widening racial wealth gap in America. Check out “Mapping Inequality” to explore redlining maps in your community.
- “Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we.” Thank you to the Boston Public Health Commission and the City of Boston’s Office of Fair Housing and Equity for this important message for all of us. Know your rights, stop stigma, get educated, show compassion & speak up for Fair Housing and against discrimination.
- No CHILDREN UNDER 18! This was the case in over ¼ of US rental housing before Families with Children protections were added to the FHA in 1988. Now more than ever, we know the value of having a home to keep your children safe in.