Press Release: FHF Successfully Resolved Two Familial Status Cases in the County o

FHF Successfully Resolved Two Familial Status Cases in the County of Orange Involving Over Occupancy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

 

Garden Grove and Westminster, CA- The Fair Housing Foundation received two separate complaints from two different tenants with similar situations. The clients contacted FHF in May 2022 seeking advice about their fair housing rights regarding familial status discrimination. Both tenants had been living at their residences over 4 years or more and received a 3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit issued by the management company notifying the tenants that they were allegedly in violation of the rental and occupancy criteria guidelines. Per the management company, one way to cure the notice was to remove one unauthorized occupant to comply with occupancy limits from their unit within three days of the notice. Both tenants in each scenario were faced with a critical decision to make- the possibility of facing eviction or removing one of the minor children and/or one parent from the apartment in order to comply with management’s Occupancy Criteria Guidelines.

Under the Fair Housing Act, housing providers may not discriminate due to familial status. The guidelines set forth regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling are standard guides set for reference by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Therefore, FHF contacted both management companies and were able to obtain a successful resolution. The 3-Day Notice to Cure or Quit was rescinded and tenants were allowed to remain in their current apartment without being put at risk of facing eviction.

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The Fair Housing Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF engages in activities including outreach and education, testing and investigation, and counteracting and eliminating discriminatory housing practices in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling. Please contact Fair Housing Foundation at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) for more information.

Press Release: FHF and Attorney Michelle Uzeta Resolved a Case of Disability Discrimination

FHF and Attorney Michelle Uzeta Resolved a Case of Disability Discrimination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

 

Bellflower, CA- The client had moved into the complaint property on or around November 16, 2021 and had contacted the Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) in April 2022 to seek advice on their fair housing rights regarding disability discrimination and assistance with a reasonable accommodation request. The client did not know how to approach the property manager to make them aware of her need for an assistance animal to aid in the mitigation of her symptoms as prescribed by a health care provider. Initially, the client had not moved in with her cat as she had been homeless, and the assistance animal was temporarily with the client’s daughter. After a month of residence, the client was then able to move the cat in with her at the property. After five months of living at the property, the client was then issued a notice to remove the “unauthorized pet” from the premises. The client was then able to notify the property manager that the cat was an assistance animal meant to ameliorate the client’s disability differentiating that animal from a service animal and pet. Despite having provided the property manager with supporting documents, the client was issued a 90-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy.

FHF was then able to get involved to assist in communication with the property manager on behalf of the client. The legal counsel representing the apartment complex/owner informed FHF that the 60-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy would not be rescinded on the basis that the notice of an assistance animal was a breach of the rental agreement/ application and could constitute fraud since it was not disclosed upon leasing the apartment. By taking this response, the landlords and their counsel also failed to engage in the “interactive process,” or good-faith dialogue with the client’s disability-related need for the accommodation.

Therefore, FHF was able to obtain the assistance from Ms. Michelle Uzeta, a civil rights attorney to advocate on behalf of the client. Ms. Uzeta was able to submit a letter to the landlord’s legal counsel informing them of the client’s rights to her assistance animal as protected by the law. A successful resolution was then reached where the client’s 90-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy was rescinded, and her residence would continue in the current apartment with her assistance animal. Both FHF and the client are grateful to the assistance and advocacy of Ms. Uzeta in resolving this matter.

 

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The Fair Housing Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF engages in activities including outreach and education, testing and investigation, and counteracting and eliminating discriminatory housing practices in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling. Please contact Fair Housing Foundation at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) for more information.

Press Release: FHF Recognized by the State of California’s Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

Fair Housing Foundation Recognized by the State of California's Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Christina Prado
1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104
[email protected]

Sacramento, CA May 2, 2022- The Fair Housing Foundation has been recognized by the state of California for being one of the State’s Local Partner Network organizations that illustrates the significance of the state’s efforts to keep families housed and prevent evictions via the emergency relief program.

 

“‘Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked hard to stand up the state rental assistance program- the largest in the nation- to help families in need remain housed during the emergency,’ said Gustavo Velasquez, Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, which administers the state program.”

 

FHF was recognized in the following statement: “Alisha, a Los Angeles County Resident, received funding through the state program that helped her during the pandemic and was assisted by the Fair Housing Foundation in the Los Angeles area, one of the rent relief program’s Local Partner Network (LPN) organizations.”

 

FHF is proud to continue our dedication toward eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone.

 

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About Fair Housing Foundation

The Fair Housing Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF engages in activities including outreach and education, testing and investigation, and counteracting and eliminating discriminatory housing practices in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling. Please contact Fair Housing Foundation at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) for more information.

Press Release: Fair Housing Foundation Receives $30,000 Donation from PennyMac Corporate Philanthropy Program​

Fair Housing Foundation Receives $30,000 Donation from PennyMac Corporate Philanthropy Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Melanie Silberberg
1-800-446-3247 ext. 1111
[email protected]

Long Beach, CA – To help support and address equality in housing, PennyMac presented a $30,000 donation to the Fair Housing Foundation (FHF).

 

The donation was given in recognition of Fair Housing Foundation’s dedication to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF actively supports and promotes freedom of residence through education, advocacy, and litigation, to ensure that all persons have the opportunity to secure safe and decent housing that they desire and can afford, without regard to their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, familial status, marital status, disability, ancestry, age, source of income or other characteristics protected by laws.

 

The unrestricted donation will be prioritized for education, counseling services, and outreach activities that:

  • Help develop innovative ways to better inform the public of fair housing laws and their rights and responsibilities
  • Increase Fair Housing training opportunities throughout our service area
  • Streamline assistance to clients

“We cannot express how appreciative we are for this generous gift. Our agency provides programs that are vital to the constituents of the cities we service. We educate not only on landlord/tenant rights or housing discrimination, but on how our communities can work together. If everyone understands their role and how they can contribute, it creates a beautiful place where anyone would want to live. I sincerely want to thank PennyMac for valuing our mission of eliminating housing discrimination and choosing us to be the representatives for such an important message,” said Stella Verdeja, Executive Director. “

 

This support will allow the FHF to advance its work in education the community and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone.

 

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About Fair Housing Foundation

The Fair Housing Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF engages in activities including outreach and education, testing and investigation, and counteracting and eliminating discriminatory housing practices in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling. Please contact Fair Housing Foundation at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) for more information.

 

About PennyMac

Pennymac was founded when a team of executives who came together with a shared vision at a time when the county needed it most. Their vision is to be the most trusted partners for home. Pennymac is always pursuing their mission of building the foundation of homeownership by enabling Americans to achieve and sustain their aspirations of home. As a company, they value three major areas: Accountability, Reliability and always remaining Ethical. They are committed to these traits because they believe it shows commitment and builds positive relationships with their borrowers, partners and stakeholders.    

Please contact PennyMac at https://www.pennymac.com

Press Release: FHF Settles a Source of Income Discrimination Case involving a denial of an apartment because of Section 8 Status.

FHF Settles a Source of Income Discrimination Case involving a denial of an apartment because of Section 8 Status.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Melanie Silberberg
1-800-446-3247 ext. 1111
[email protected]

Long Beach – February 11, 2022 The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) reached a settlement on a Source of Income case for the city of Long Beach. In taking proactive steps in combating housing discrimination, FHF randomly selected properties to test for Source of Income. As a result of our investigation, we found that the housing provider was denying access to individuals with Section 8 Vouchers. Shortly thereafter FHF received a complaint for that same property where the prospective tenant was told, “Sorry we are not set up for Section 8, nor do we plan to.” Through our conciliatory efforts the Case Analyst was able to come to an agreement with the housing provider. The housing provider agreed to pay the complainant a monetary sum, take a minimum of a three (3) hour fair housing training course that covers Source of Income protections, and implement a policy regarding Source of Income, along with displaying Fair Housing posters.

If you believe you may have experienced discriminated based on source of income or any other protected class under federal or California law, please contact the Fair Housing Foundation to complete an interview. Contact FHF at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) or [email protected].

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The Fair Housing Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF engages in activities including outreach and education, testing and investigation, and counteracting and eliminating discriminatory housing practices in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling. Please contact Fair Housing Foundation at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) for more information.

Press Release: For 2nd year Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC Partner to Receive $125,000 HUD Grant to Fight Housing Discrimination in OC and LA Counties

For 2nd year Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC Partner to Receive $125,000 HUD Grant to Fight Housing Discrimination in OC and LA Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Melanie Silberberg
1-800-446-3247 ext. 1111
[email protected]

Long Beach, CA February 11, 2022 – The Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC announced today that the nonprofit organizations have received a grant of $125,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support their collaborative work to help end housing discrimination in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. The funds are provided through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) which provides support to local nonprofit agencies to help assist individuals who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination, and to educate housing providers and communities about fair housing laws. The EOI grant helps to educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under federal law or state and local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with HomeOwnership OC on this grant. Our goal is to continue expanding our fair housing marketing and outreach efforts, and educational work to our communities so the public can prevent, recognize, and report housing discrimination,” said Stella Verdeja, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Foundation. “COVID-19 and its unique effects, has placed the spotlight on the housing issues that renters and homeowners were facing before the pandemic. With this collaboration, we will enhance our programs and services on fair housing laws to assist renters, homeowners, home seekers, and the housing industry. We are committed to advancing housing equality for everyone, even during these uncommon times.”

FHF and HOOC will partner together to provide a strategic educational campaign that offers online fair housing educational workshops, fair housing information, public service announcements, and social media ads, to better serve the Orange and Los Angeles communities.

If you believe you may have experienced discriminated in housing, please contact the Fair Housing Foundation to complete an interview. Contact FHF at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100), email [email protected] or HomeOwnership OC at 714-204-2314 or visit www.HomeOwnershipOC.org.

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About Fair Housing Foundation

The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) is a non-profit organization formed in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF offers a comprehensive Fair Housing Program that includes discrimination complaint intake, testing and investigation; outreach and educational activities; and landlord and tenant rental counseling.

FHF has been continuously providing services to municipalities for 58 years. We assist approximately 6,000 clients annually. The purpose of the FHF Fair Housing program is to educate tenants, landlords, owners, Realtors, and property management companies on fair housing laws and to secure grassroots involvement within the community. Our motto is “Education over Litigation.” The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling.

About HomeOwnership OC

Homeownership OC is a nonprofit that promotes financial improvement, housing opportunities, and homeownership. Formally known as OC HOC, our mission is to promote and preserve the dream of homeownership through outreach, education, counseling, and financing. Homeownership OC works to educate the public, especially the low income and underserved populations, on all aspects of owning or renting a home. We are a one-stop-shop and a free resource here to assist the community with all their housing-related issues.

From renting to buying a home, to credit improvement and more, Homeownership OC works to ensure the community has the most up to date information and comprehensive resources easily accessible. This includes offering individual housing counseling and educational workshops to help individuals better understand housing situations, build assets, and improve overall financial wellbeing. Since our inception in 2007, we have counseled more than 17,120 consumers on options to save their home from foreclosure, improve credit, rental issues, homeownership, down payment, and fair housing rights.  We have also held more than 74 Home Preservation, Home Buying, Avoiding Real Estate Scams and Fraud, and Financial Educational Workshops throughout Orange County.

FHF Settles Disability Discrimination Case involving a denial of an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

FHF Settles Disability Discrimination Case involving a denial of an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Melanie Silberberg
1-800-446-3247 ext. 1111
[email protected]

Long Beach – December 16, 2021 The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) settled a housing discrimination case against an owner, located in Long Beach, CA. FHF engaged in a voluntary mediation in DFEH’s Dispute Resolution Division. A resident manager of the owner discriminated against the prospective tenant because of his disability.

The complainant, a prospective tenant looking for an apartment in the city of Long Beach, filed a complaint with FHF on July 22, 2020, alleging that he suffered illegal discrimination because he has an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). The prospective tenant is a disabled Veteran. The prospective tenant initially inquired about an apartment available at the complaint address. When the prospective tenant met with the onsite manager to inquire about the available vacancy, he disclosed that the apartment was for him and his ESA. The onsite manager told prospective tenant that they could not rent to him because he had a dog despite him clarifying to the manager that the dog was an emotional support animal.

In the settlement, the respondent will pay $5,000 ($1,500 to FHF and $3,500 to the prospective tenant). In addition to a monetary settlement, the resident manager will undergo to a fair housing training that will focus on disability accommodations and the interactive process. The training will be conducted by the Fair Housing Foundation. The respondent will also revise their current policies, regarding reasonable accommodations and display fair housing posters at their property. “This case serves as an example that discrimination towards people with disabilities still occurs today,” says Case Analyst Sindy Guzman, “at the Fair Housing Foundation, we are committed to helping people with disabilities during discrimination cases such as this one.”

If you believe you may have experienced discriminated based on disability or any other protected class under federal or California law, please contact the Fair Housing Foundation to complete an interview. Contact FHF at 1-800-446-3247 (TTY: 1-800 855-7100) or [email protected]

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The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) is a non-profit organization formed in 1964 and is dedicated to eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone. FHF offers a comprehensive Fair Housing Program that includes discrimination complaint intake, testing and investigation; outreach and educational activities; and landlord and tenant rental counseling.

FHF has been continuously providing services to municipalities for 58 years. We assist approximately 6,000 clients annually. The purpose of the FHF Fair Housing program is to educate tenants, landlords, owners, Realtors, and property management companies on fair housing laws and to secure grassroots involvement within the community. Our motto is “Education over Litigation.” The Fair Housing Foundation is a HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency and also offers Rental Counseling.

Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC Partner to Receive $125,000 HUD Grant to Fight Housing Discrimination in OC and LA

Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC Partner to Receive $125,000 HUD Grant to Fight Housing Discrimination in OC and LA

Long Beach, CA – September 3, 2020 – The Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC announced today that the nonprofit organizations have received a grant of $125,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support their collaborative work to help end housing discrimination in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. The funds are provided through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) which provides support to local nonprofit agencies to help assist individuals who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination, and to educate housing providers and communities about fair housing laws. The EOI grant helps to educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under federal law or state and local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.

“We are very much looking forward to our partnership with HomeOwnership OC on this grant. Our goal is to expand our fair housing marketing and outreach, and educational work to our communities so the public can prevent, recognize, and report housing discrimination,” said Stella Verdeja, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Foundation.

Fair Housing Foundation Helps Family Reach Settlement on Discrimination Case

Fair Housing Foundation Helps Family Reach Settlement on Discrimination Case

Long Beach, CA – July 16, 2020 – The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) settled a housing discrimination case against a Management Company, located in LA County. A resident manager of the Management Company discriminated against families with children by enforcing overly restrictive rules.

The complainant, residing in Bellflower, filed a complaint with FHF on June 19, 2018, alleging retaliation after she reported to the Management Company that the manager told the complainant that children were not allowed to play outside. As a result, the complainant was served with a sixty (60) day notice of termination of tenancy. The manager had complained about the unnecessary noise from the children.

Fair Housing Foundation Receives Grant From The Wells Fargo Foundation

Fair Housing Foundation Receives Grant From The Wells Fargo Foundation

Long Beach, CA – June 1, 2020 – To help keep Californians Housed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wells Fargo Foundation presented a $10,000 grant to the Fair Housing Foundation.
In response to COVID-19, the Wells Fargo Foundation COVID-19 Housing Counseling Support (HCS) initiative will help national nonprofit housing intermediaries, local housing counselors, and nonprofit housing providers to support housing stability for more than 100,000 renters and homeowners across the U.S. facing financial challenges.
“During this unprecedented time, too many people are struggling financially and facing housing instability,” said Stella Verdeja, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Foundation. “Wells Fargo has a deep commitment to advance housing affordability solutions by supporting the work of housing counseling organizations as they serve a vital role in helping renters and homeowners facing financial difficulties.”