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Get Connected and Join the Conversation

As discussed in the two most recent NFHTA Fair Housing Forums, aggrieved parties face the threat of discriminatory evictions and foreclosures, especially those of color. To help our customers, it is vital that FHIP and FHAP staff members are aware of resources available to assist in knowledge and skill building to better serve aggrieved parties and complainants. Using social media is a great way to start conversations of challenges and solutions in our field.

Recently, NFHTA relaunched its LinkedIn page. Through the power of the LinkedIn platform, we are building an engaged community of fair housing professionals. The NFHTA LinkedIn page highlights upcoming NFHTA activities and products, including courses, forums, job aids, and resources to help you in your work. As a business-to-business platform, users can find content related to their fair housing work by sharing posts from staff or stakeholder agencies.

By forging connections among fair housing practitioners via LinkedIn, we can celebrate wins in our community, check out new HUD guidance, receive technical assistance, and discuss best practices that will allow us and our organizations to learn, grow, and improve.

Connect with NFHTA on LinkedIn

Explore the New Redesigned NFHTA Webpage

NFHTA recently launched its redesigned webpage and resource library! Easily navigate the user-friendly and intuitive design while exploring new pages including:

Meet the Faculty: Maria Gonzalez

Ms. Gonzalez has over 17 years of civil service experience, and over 8 years dedicated to protecting the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, hate violence and human trafficking. Under her direction, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) housing division investigates nearly 1,000 housing cases per year throughout the state of California.

Ms. Gonzalez leverages her experience for the content development and delivery of NFHTA’s Fundamentals of Fair Housing – Intake course.

Q&A with Maria:

What brought you to fair housing work?

Growing up in a large family, I witnessed my immigrant parents being treated differently due to the size of our family, race, and national origin. We endured discrimination without knowing we had rights and accepted being denied housing due to our familial status and race as part of life. As I got older, I realized my family and I had not had a fair chance to access housing due to our demographic make-up. When I began my career with DFEH, I quickly realized this was my purpose.

What is the most emergent issue that you see within fair housing now?

I have seen appraisals come back disproportionally lower for those in certain minority groups. We are all concerned by reports that property appraisal amounts have been linked to the race of the homeowner, with owners of color receiving lower appraisals than others in similar properties.

What is one piece of advice you have for a new practitioner working in fair housing?

What you do matters. We are the power that ensures those who may not have the voice, ability, or strength to speak out against discrimination are heard. Be fair, open minded, and unbiased with the intent to do what is right, protecting everyday people from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Learn more about Maria
Pro Tips for FHIPs and FHAPs

Creating Strong FHIP and FHAP Partnerships

The goal of NFHTA is to forge partnerships and build skills to end housing discrimination in our country. Relationship building is critical to advance fair housing in our communities. For this month’s Pro Tips, we examine some best practices to create and grow partnerships between the FHIP and FHAP agencies, so we all can end housing discrimination...together!

  • Create Connections
    First, know who are the FHIPs and FHAPs that serve your jurisdiction. In some cases, there may be multiple fair housing agencies in your community. Use the following websites to identify your FHIP and FHAP partners: FHIP Organizations and FHAP Agencies. Second, establish communication through a virtual meet-and-greet. Introduce your team members and discuss each person’s role within the organization. Consider scheduling a monthly or quarterly check-in meeting to network, discuss your organization’s missions, and any emergent issues or trends in your community.
     
  • Leverage Resources
    Partnerships will allow for collaboration to assist aggrieved parties gain access to local legal aid and housing counseling resources. By forging partnerships, you and your agency can share vital information, such as local fair housing trends and identify possible fair housing "hot spots" that may need attention.
     
  • Case Development
    As discussed in NFHTA’s Fundamentals of Fair Housing – Intake course, FHIPs and FHAPs can partner to develop cases for investigation. For example, if there is an aggrieved party who reports that he/she/they received conflicting information about the availability of a dwelling, that situation is ripe for a FHIP to test. Once a test has been designed and executed, the FHIP should brief the FHAP on the results of the test if the FHIP will be moving forward with a referral. During that conversation, both agencies can discuss additional information that is needed or what the perfected fair housing complaint may look like.
In case you missed it....

July National Fair Housing Forum Materials Now Available

On July 21, 2021, NFHTA partnered with NFHA for a Fair Housing Forum on Post-COVID Mortgage Forbearance Options and Preventing Discriminatory Foreclosures. An insightful discussion with experts in the field covered the following topics:

  • Fair housing foreclosure effects of the pandemic on people of color and others in protected classes.
  • Current status of the federal foreclosure moratorium.
  • Current foreclosure and loss mitigation assistance programs.
  • Legal standards for combating foreclosure as a fair housing violation.
  • Tools to stop foreclosures that violate fair housing laws.
  • Potential partnerships between FHIP and FHAP agencies and local legal aid and housing counseling organizations.

We encourage you to have conversations within your agency on ways to prevent discriminatory foreclosures.

To build your capacity to address this critical issue, please enroll in a NFHTA instructor led course.

View Forum Materials
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This material is based upon work supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. Neither the United States Government, nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately-owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. Opinions expressed on the HUD Exchange are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, HUD or by any HUD program.