SOI Protections Upheld Highlighting

Source of Income Protections Upheld via CRD Highlighting Discriminatory Income Restrictions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

March 26, 2024- Long Beach, CA – The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) conducts tests on randomly selected properties in both Los Angeles County and Orange County cities. Recently, FHF tested properties for discrimination based on an applicant’s source of income. FHF identified discriminatory practices within several properties in the city of Long Beach, specifically against Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders.

An FHF investigator posing as a prospective tenant contacted the housing provider to inquire about an available property for rent. The property’s income requirement was that a tenant must make 3 times the rent to qualify. When the investigator inquired about the rental requirements, the Respondent said that they needed to make $4,800; 3 times the rent. When the investigator disclosed that she had a Section 8 voucher, the Respondent said they would accept Section 8, but the income requirement is still 3 times the rent of $4,800. The investigator clarified whether that was based on the full rental amount or just the Section 8 portion. The Respondent again said, “yes, thank you,” and ended the call.

FHF sent a letter to the property explaining the audit and test that was done for the subject property. The Respondents were informed that evidence of discrimination was identified, wherein Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders were denied a housing opportunity because the required income standards were based on the overall monthly rent and not on the tenant’s portion paid by the tenant with a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. Using this method would automatically disqualify an applicant, as most Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders do not make the overall monthly rent to meet their income standards. FHF also explained Assembly Bill 329, to which they received no response. The efforts made by FHF were unsuccessful in conciliating with the Respondents. Therefore, FHF filed a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD).

Through mediation, FHF was able to successfully mediate the complaint, settling for $2,140. In addition, the Respondents will need to attend fair housing training and implement a policy that is nondiscriminatory regarding the source of income protections.

Due to completed audits, FHF finds that even though Section 8 program participation is protected under source of income discrimination, Section 8 voucher holders are still facing challenges during the application process. Housing providers continue to misinform applicants by requiring them to meet the overall income requirements, even though it exceeds the required tenant’s portion of rent. 

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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: Reasonable Modification Request Granted 3.12.24

Reasonable Modification Request Granted with Fair Housing Foundation Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

March 12, 2024- Norwalk, CA – The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) assisted a disabled married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, who were seeking assistance with a reasonable modification request. Mr. and Mrs. Doe had been tenants at their property since June 2003. During their 20-year tenancy, the carpeting in their unit had not been replaced. Both Mr. and Mrs. Doe suffer from medical conditions in which the carpeting was exacerbating their symptoms.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Doe had contacted management on their own to request their carpeting be replaced but management did not want to engage. Mr. and Mrs. Doe are Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) recipients and management told them to reach out to Section 8 to pay for the carpet replacement. Mr. and Mrs. Doe reached out to their Section 8 case worker but were told that the Housing Choice Voucher program does not offer carpet replacement services or compensation.

 

To assist Mr. and Mrs. Doe, FHF contacted the property manager and received a response from a supervisor. The supervisor informed FHF that he had inspected the unit himself and the carpeting looked to be in good shape. FHF clarified to the supervisor that although the carpeting may visibly be in good shape, according to HUD, carpeting life span is 5 to 7 years. FHF also clarified that Section 8 is not responsible for funding the carpet replacement. After some consideration, the supervisor stated he would proceed with the carpet replacement, but a portion of the cost would fall on the tenant. In the end, the housing provider replaced the carpeting with wood floors at no cost to the tenant. Mr. and Mrs. Doe were now able to breathe easier thanks to the modification and generosity of the property managers.

 

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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.

2024 Youth Poster Contest

2024 Youth Poster Contest

February, 2024 – On your art! Get set… Go! Our annual Fair Housing Poster contest is back! The contest is open to students in 4th through 8th grade. Students must create a poster on any size paper with this year’s theme “Fair Housing: A Place to Call Home” and submit a picture in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format to: cprado@fhfca.org

1st Place – $125*

2nd Place – $75*

3rd Place – $50*

*distributed via gift card

Rules: 

  • Open to youth in 4th-8th grade
  • Create a poster on any size paper
  • No zip code restrictions
  • Take a picture and submit posters via email in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format to: [email protected].
  • Include child’s name, phone #, age, grade, and school
  • All posters should contain wording and imagery that conveys this year’s theme.
  • Due Date: 4/16/24

The contest will take place during FHF’s annual event.   Attendees and social media subscribers will be able to vote on their favorite artwork during the event and via Social Media.

Download the Flyer:

For any questions, please contact [email protected] or 800-446-3247 X1104.
GOOD LUCK!

Press Release: Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Recipient Secures Housing with FHF Assistanc

Successful Resolution: Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Recipient Secures Housing with FHF Assistance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

 

Hawthorne, CA- February 21, 2024 – The Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) received a request for assistance from a woman living with disabilities, Ms. Doe, who was in search of an apartment using her Housing Choice voucher (Section 8). As a newcomer to the program, Ms. Doe encountered challenges finding an apartment that would accept her Section 8 voucher, prompting her to consider requesting an extension of her voucher to secure housing. Despite the difficulties, Ms. Doe located a 2-bedroom apartment, applied, and secured it by paying a holding deposit while her application was being processed. She later received approval.

However, a week after the approval, Ms. Doe was informed by the property management that the apartment had suffered water damage, and repairs would take over a month. Suspecting discrimination due to her Section 8 voucher, Ms. Doe reached out to the Fair Housing Foundation seeking information about her rights. FHF conducted an investigation and found that the property management was advertising another 2-bedroom apartment within the same price range as quoted to Ms. Doe.

To assist Ms. Doe before her Section 8 voucher expiration, FHF contacted the property management. The property supervisor explained that the initial apartment Ms. Doe applied for was still undergoing repairs. They clarified that they had no issue renting to Ms. Doe and, in fact, offered her other 2-bedroom apartment options. Ms. Doe chose to accept the offered apartment and submitted the necessary paperwork from the Housing Authority to the property supervisor. The paperwork was completed and sent to the Housing Authority. Thanks to the mediation provided by Fair Housing Foundation, Ms. Doe was able to secure housing using her Section 8 voucher, and thus prevented her from losing its benefits. 

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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.

Wells Fargo Awards Fair Housing Foundation with $83,000 Grant as Part of COVID-19 and Housing Assistance Programs Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

 

Long Beach, CA – October 26, 2023 – The Wells Fargo Foundation, Keeping People Housed (KPH) has once again awarded Fair Housing Foundation with an $83,000 grant to provide counseling services to homeowners and renters that have been impacted by COVID-19 to avoid foreclosure and eviction. Since 2020, Wells Fargo Foundation has been providing funding to legal-assistance organizations and housing counseling agencies to help keep people housed.  

 “Eliminating housing discrimination, opening the doors and providing equal access to housing is the Fair Housing Foundation’s mission,” Executive Director Stella Verdeja said. “When so many people are facing housing discrimination, we’re grateful to the Wells Fargo Foundation for their support during this challenging time.”

Fair Housing Foundation reaches at-risk families by promoting services through outreach and advocacy including workshops and trainings on landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, housing discrimination investigation and one-on-one rental counseling and mediation services. Studies have shown that tenants who seek support from supportive agencies, such as FHF, are more likely to avoid the process of eviction and remain in their homes. The generous contribution made by Wells Fargo will go directly toward community education efforts and resources for renters to maintain their housing who might be facing financial difficulties. 

Thanks to Wells Fargo’s continued support, FHF will have additional resources to best serve the local community in understanding fair housing rights and resources and promote 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 Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.98 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,400 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 31 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

 

Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC Partner to Receive $425,000 AnnualFair Housing Initiatives Grant to Fight Housing Discrimination

Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC Partner to Receive $425,000 Annual Fair Housing Initiatives Grant to Fight Housing Discrimination

For Immediate Release – June 1, 2023         

 

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

 

Long Beach, CA – Fair Housing Foundation and HomeOwnership OC announced today that the nonprofit organizations have received a Fair Housing Initiatives (FHIP) Private Enforcement Initiatives (PEI) grant of $425,000 annually for 3 years from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The FHIP PEI grant will support their collaborative work to help enforce and educate on fair housing laws and end housing discrimination in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. The funds are provided through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) PEI which provides support to local nonprofit agencies to help assist individuals who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination learn about options, file complaints, and resolve fair housing issues. The PEI grant also 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.  The grant also provides funds for fair housing education, outreach and enforcement related services to individuals who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination.

            “We are eager to continue expanding our fair housing enforcement efforts to combat housing discrimination in our communities,” said Stella Verdeja, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Foundation. “With this collaboration, we will enhance our fair housing program 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.”

           HOOC and FHF have partnered together on FHIP Education and Outreach Grants for the past 2 years and will now partner on this FHIP PEI grant to provide a strategic fair housing testing, enforcement and educational campaign that offers online fair housing educational workshops, Covid-19 rental and fair housing information, public service announcements, social media ads and updates to both of their websites to better serve the Orange and Los Angeles communities. “We are excited to be able to partner again with the Fair Housing Foundation to strategically expand our fair housing outreach and education to ensure our communities have the knowledge and resources to prevent and report housing discrimination,” said Connie Der Torossian, Executive Director of HomeOwnership OC.  “As we recover from the economic and housing impacts of Covid-19 and its unprecedented effect on our communities, it is very important for us to expand our programs that help renters, homeowners, home seekers and the housing industry recover, understand fair housing laws, and ensure housing is equally available to all individuals regardless of their protected class.” Individuals who have questions or feel they have experienced discrimination can call Fair Housing Foundation at 562.989.1206 or visit www.fhfca.org or HomeOwnership OC at 714.204.2314 or visit www.HomeOwnershipOC.org

 

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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 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 home ownership 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 13,600 homeowners on options to save their home from foreclosure, credit, homeownership, and down payment programs and held more than 66 Home Preservation, Home Buying, Avoiding Real Estate Scams and Fraud, and Financial Educational Workshops throughout Orange County. 

 

FHF Receives $75,000 Grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation

Fair Housing Foundation Receives $75,000 Grant
from the Wells Fargo Foundation to Keep Californian’s House

FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

 

 

Long Beach, CA – March 30, 2023 – Today, Fair Housing Foundation announced a $75,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation which will enable the organization to increase rental counseling services and the capacity to enhance marketing and outreach efforts to serve communities.

Since 2020, Wells Fargo Foundation has continued to provide support to national nonprofit housing intermediaries, local housing counselors, and nonprofit housing providers to support housing stability for renters and homeowners across the U.S. who are facing financial challenges. Strategies include expanding the capacity of housing counselors to respond to renters and homeowners as well as supporting nonprofits that provide affordable rental homes and services.

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,” said Stella Verdeja, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Foundation.

The Wells Fargo Foundation philanthropy strategy is focused on keeping people in their homes, small business support, and financial health in collaboration with national and local organizations.

In addition to Fair Housing Foundation, other Wells Fargo Foundation COVID-19 Housing Counseling Support grantees include: Enterprise Community Partners, GreenPath, HomeFree-USA, Housing Partnership Network, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Foundation for Credit Counseling, National Urban League, Navicore Solutions, NID Housing, NeighborWorks® America, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, UnidosUS and USA Homeownership Foundation DBA Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals.

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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 Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.98 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,400 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 31 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

 

2023 Youth Poster Contest

2023 Fair Housing Youth Poster Contest has Launched!

February, 2023 – On your art! Get set… Go! Our annual Fair Housing Poster contest is back! The contest is open to students in 4th through 8th grade. Students must create a poster on any size paper with this year’s theme “Fair Housing: My Right!” and submit a picture in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format to: cprado@fhfca.org

1st Place – Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones in Blue

2nd Place – $75 Amazon Gift card 

3rd Place – $50 Gaming Gift Card 

Rules: 

  • Open to youth in 4th-8th grade
  • Create a poster on any size paper
  • No zip code restrictions
  • Take a picture and submit posters via email in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format to: [email protected].
  • Include child’s name, phone #, age, grade, and school
  • All posters should contain wording and imagery that conveys this year’s theme.
  • Due Date: 4/20/23

The contest will take place during FHF’s annual event with welcomed partners also celebrating Affordable and Fair Housing Months — The Kennedy Commission.   Attendees and social media subscribers will be able to vote on their favorite artwork during the event and via Social Media.

Good Luck!

Download the Flyer!

Press Release: Fair Housing Foundation Awarded $30,000 Donation from Pennymac Corporate Philanthropy Program

Fair Housing Foundation Awarded $30,000 Donation from Pennymac Corporate Philanthropy Program

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

 

Long Beach, CA, February 15, 2023 – Pennymac is celebrating 15 years of “becoming the most respected and trusted lender within the industry, [and] are proud to have successfully helped over 4 million lifetime homeowners across the country achieve their aspirations of home.” As part of their celebration, Pennymac has awarded Fair Housing Foundation with a donation of $30,000 to continue the ongoing mission of eliminating discrimination in housing and promoting equal access to housing choices for everyone.

“Thank you Pennymac for your great generosity! We, at the Fair Housing Foundation greatly appreciate your donation, and your support is invaluable to us,” stated Stella Verdeja, Executive Director.

Thanks to Pennymac’s generous contribution, FHF will be able to reach more families, address more questions, and assist with more issues to create stronger homes and even stronger communities. The resources provided will be focused on enhancing programs that provide education and training around fair housing rights and expectations, enhance awareness on the services and programs available, and allow for more people to thrive in their homes and neighborhoods in the confidence that Fair Housing Foundation is on your side.

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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: FHF Welcomes Lancaster to the FHF Service Area

FHF Welcomes Lancaster to the FHF Service Area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christina Prado

1-800-446-3247 ext. 1104

[email protected]

Los Angeles County, CA, January 2023- Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) welcomes the 2023 New Year with adding Lancaster to the growing FHF service area. FHF has been servicing the Los Angeles and Orange County areas since 1964 as one of the fair housing enforcement and education agencies that was created after the implementation of the federal Fair Housing Act. With the addition of the city of Hawthorne last fall, and now the city of Lancaster, FHF now proudly serves 26 cities in the SoCal area.

“We are extremely excited to begin this new partnership with the city of Lancaster. The FHF team has already started promoting fair housing and are eager to provide guidance to the residents and housing providers within the city,” said Stella Verdeja, Executive Director.

In this new collaboration, FHF looks forward to building a strong relationship with the city and offering the fair housing services and resources that are now available to all Lancaster residents. Landlords and tenants alike are now able to benefit from using the FHF Hotline for questions on rights and responsibilities, attend a workshop to learn about basic fair housing, have discrimination investigated, improve financial health by participating in the Rental Counseling Program and more.

Each city also works in collaboration with FHF by inviting FHF to host free educational workshops, promoting FHF as the fair housing service provider, and issuing city-wide proclamations during the upcoming Fair Housing Month in April- acknowledging the importance in promoting equality in housing choices for everyone.

More than just a fair housing non-profit, FHF encourages community well-being at different levels through cities, schools, community non-profits, property management organizations, and city residents through advocacy, support, education, and awareness. FHF now proudly welcomes the city of Lancaster.

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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.