Thank you to everyone who attended our 5th Annual Fair Housing Breakfast and to our generous sponsors. Your support enables us to continue our work to end housing discrimination.
Our guest speaker this year was author and renowned scholar, Richard Rothstein. Mr. Rothstein spoke to us about why he wrote “The Color of Law” and what he learned during his eight years of research.
One of the lessons from his talk was that we must start teaching an accurate history of racial segregation to everyone, but most pointedly to students in their history classes. In order to move forward and make a change, Mr. Rothstein suggests, we must be honest with and acknowledge this part of our nation’s past.
Earlier this month, the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan joined with 572 other civil rights organizations to send a letter to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ben Carson, in response to media reports that the Secretary was aiming to change HUD’s mission statement. Coordinated by the National Fair Housing Alliance, the letter urged Secretary Carson to keep “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination” in HUD’s mission statement.
The current mission statement reads: “HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.”
The proposed mission statement, according to the news source that broke the story, would read: “HUD’s mission is to ensure Americans have access to fair, affordable housing and opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency, thereby strengthening our communities and nation.”
2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Center firmly believes that enforcement and promotion of the Fair Housing Act must be a part of HUD’s mission. The National Fair Housing Alliance is scheduling a meeting with Secretary Carson to address the concerns from the letter. We will keep you posted on this issue.
Fifteen-year-old Alex Hosey wrote an essay about housing discrimination and ideas on how to draw attention to the issue. The essay, which has now spurred city officials to take a hard look at how to make real and lasting change, touches on the past, present, and future of equal housing for all. You can read the story about how his essay came to get such widespread-attention in the Lansing State Journal.
The Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan has provided services to Ingham County since 2009. To learn more about what we do, or to report a possible housing discrimination complaint, call us at 1-877-979-3247. Together, we can fight housing discrimination and win!
Alex got a lot of attention on our Facebook Page! – 296 “likes” and 65 shares!