Fair Housing Center of West Michigan

make that change


8:45 — 11:45am

Am I Welcome to Live Here? Achieving Equitable Access to Homeownership

People often wonder if housing discrimination really still happens and if so, how often.  Three reporters with Newsday, an award-winning daily New York newspaper, sought to find out by conducting an undercover investigation on Long Island.  According to reporters Ann Choi, Oliva Winslow and Keith Herbert, the “three-year probe strongly indicates that house hunting in one of the nation’s most segregated suburbs poses substantial risks of discrimination, with black buyers chancing disadvantages almost half of the time they enlist brokers.”  Learn more about this extensive paired-testing effort from Keith Herbert, a key member of the Newsday “Long Island Divided” team, and Fred Freiberg (Executive Director, Fair Housing Justice Center), a consultant for Newsday who organized the testing and evaluated the test results.  They will be joined by Bryan Greene (Director of Fair Housing Policy, National Association of REALTORS) and Becky Gean (Legal Affairs Manager, Michigan REALTORS) who will move the conversation forward by sharing educational and best practice resource information from the Real Estate Professional perspective; the workshop will be moderated by Dale Zahn (Chief Executive Officer, West Michigan Lakeshore Association of REALTORS).  This workshop may interest housing industry professionals (Realtors, apartment managers/owners, mortgage lenders, etc.), community media, and others interested in lessons learned and fair housing compliance; however, all are welcome! (Note: Continued education credits for Realtors will be sought).

Beyond the Basics: Working Together to Ensure Fair Housing Compliance

According to the National Fair Housing Alliance, there were 31,202 complaints of housing discrimination in 2018.  This is highest level of complaints ever recorded and unfortunately many of the cases involve challenging fact patterns and complex legal issues.  Achieving fair housing can be a difficult task.  Therefore, this workshop will be a largely interactive session with a focus on problem solving.  It will also cover some of the more challenging topics under fair housing, such as neighbor-on-neighbor harassment, serving Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals, criminal history screening, third party screening, resident selection, and the latest HUD guidance on animals in housing.  Attendees will work together to identify areas of fair housing risk as well as troubleshoot for compliance or best practices.  Amy Nelson (Executive Director, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana) and Elizabeth Stoddard (FHCWM’s Director of Advocacy) will be joined by representatives of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Housing Division staff, including Marlene Cain (Civil Rights Manager, Michigan Department of Civil Rights), to facilitate this hands-on session.  This workshop may interest property managers, landlords, condo or homeowner association representatives, real estate agents, community advocates, and human service agency staff; however, all are welcome!

Fifty Years Later: Healing Our Divided Society

More than 50 years have passed since both the passage of the Fair Housing Act and the release of The Kerner Report, which investigated the causes of the 1967 race riots and provided recommendations for the future.  The Kerner Commission famously concluded that America was heading toward “two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”  As part of this workshop, Greg Squires (Professor of Sociology and Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University) and Dr. Alan Curtis (President and CEO, Eisenhower Foundation) will present “Healing Our Divided Society, the Milton Eisenhower Foundation’s Fifty Year Update of the 1968 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders”.  They will briefly review the report and its recommendations; share data and 50 year trends on segregation, poverty, income inequality, and incarceration; and share evidence based policies and programs that are working but need to be scaled up to reverse these trends.  This workshop will also feature a video summary of the undercover investigation conducted by Newsday on Long Island, New York, which exposed widespread evidence of discriminatory, and potentially illegal, home-selling practices that many communities are still experiencing today.  This workshop may interest community advocates, students, educators, housing industry professionals, policy makers, neighborhood groups and human service agencies; however, all are welcome!

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20 Hall Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Phone: 616-451-2980
Toll-free: 866-389-FAIR
Fax: 616-451-2657

Se habla español.