Criminal Background and Housing Info Session, Adrian MI

Heard this?  

“We have a blanket ‘no felony’ policy”
“If you served time in the last 20 years, we won’t take you”
“We don’t even look an application if you have a criminal record”
“Arrested? You can’t live here”

If any of these comments affect your life (or the lives of your family and friends) we encourage you to come this free community event in Adrian. The Fair Housing Center will present on the new HUD rule that addresses criminal background and housing, provide information on help that is available, and allow time for questions from attendees.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
MSU Extension-Lenawee County
1040 S. Winter St., Suite 2020
Adrian, MI 49221
6:00-8:00 pm / Food and drinks provided  

Please let us know if you will be attending by emailing info@fhcmichigan.org or by phone 877-979-FAIR.

This program is possible in part thanks to a grant by United Way of Monroe / Lenawee Counties. Thank you also to Nation Outside.

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6th Annual Fair Housing Breakfast – Tickets Available Now

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WEMU 89.1 Airs Story on Fair Housing

Listen now. Reporter Jorge Avellan talks with FHC complainant Sarah Tankson about her disability rights case and Director Pam Kisch weighs in on the current state of fair housing in Washtenaw County.

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New Fair Housing Lawsuit Filed Against MSU Sorority

Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan
PO Box 7825, Ann Arbor, MI  48107   (877) 979-FAIR       www.fhcmichigan.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 3rd, 2018

Media Contacts: Pam Kisch, (877) 979-3247; Attorney Kerry L. Morgan, (734) 281-7100
A copy of the filed complaint is available upon request.

New Fair Housing Lawsuit Filed Against MSU Sorority

Kayla Hicks is suing Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) for denying her the right to live in the sorority with an emotional support animal (ESA) while she was a student at Michigan State University.

According to the complaint taken by the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan in the fall of 2017, though her need for the animal was well documented, AOII refused to allow her to bring her emotional support animal, a two-pound Netherland Dwarf Rabbit named Sebastian, to the sorority. Ms. Hicks was in close communication with the national offices of the sorority during the summer of 2017. She provided the organization with proof that she had a disability and needed the ESA.

On September 1, 2017, after MSU classes began and Ms. Hicks had already moved into the sorority house for her senior year, Mandy Doyle, Director of Properties at the national headquarters in Tennessee, sent an email stating:

“Hi Kayla, The decision is based upon our global policy created by AOII Properties to not allow emotional support animals. It is in AOII Properties good faith belief that the chapter house falls under the private club exemption as in the Fair Housing Act that you have mentioned in your email below. Thank you, Mandy”

“Kayla Hicks provided the sorority with all the documents necessary to show that she had a disability and needed an emotional support animal, yet they still denied her request,” stated Niki Green, Coordinator of Investigations and Legal Research from the Fair Housing Center.

Discrimination is defined in the Fair Housing Amendments Act to include refusing “to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services” when necessary to afford such person with a disability an “equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”

In March of 2018, the national office of the sorority demanded that Ms. Hicks drop the complaint that she had filed with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (in conjunction with her complaint to the FHC) before they discuss any possible agreement to allow the ESA. Two days later, before she could even consider the offer, local AOII staff said she would be evicted from the house. After the eviction threat, Ms. Hicks moved out of the sorority. The Fair Housing Center referred her to an attorney for litigation.

Fair Housing Center Cooperating Attorney Kerry L. Morgan of Pentiuk, Couvreur & Kobiljak filed the fair housing complaint in U.S. Federal Court on November 14, 2018. The case has been assigned to the Honorable Robert J. Jonker.

Photographs: Sebastian and Kayla Hicks. Photographs provided by Kayla Hicks.

  

The Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan, founded in 1992, actively protects the civil rights of those who are discriminated against in the rental, sale, or financing of housing through investigation, education, advocacy, and legal action. The FHC takes an average of 160 complaints each year from its eight-county service area – Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw counties.

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication.  Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.

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FHC Internship Fund

FHC Internship Fund

We are excited to announce our 2018 #GivingTuesday campaign: an FHC Internship Fund! Our goal is to raise $2,000 between now and November 27th. Donate Here.

Interns learn to answer phones, provide referrals and advice, take complaints, and work on special projects. We could truly use office help right now. Help us train the next generation of fair housing advocates!

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.

We hope you can give today.

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