Joseph and Lauretta Codrington pause for a snapshot next to their framed settlement picture at the FHC office
The Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan has a storytelling project in the works! We are producing a few videos that highlight cases where the Fair Housing Center teamed with local families to fight housing discrimination.
We began the project by looking deep into our file cabinets, dusting off our old case notes, and looking through our many news clippings to pick the best stories to share with you! We finally selected three cases and are in the process of finding the best videographer to put it all together.
It was a challenge reconnecting with these three Michigan families – our work in the fair housing movement goes all the way back to the early 90s! We began meeting with these old friends in October to discuss their cases and the upcoming filming schedule.
Two of these friends are Lauretta and Joseph Codrington. They originally contacted the Fair Housing Center in 1992. Now, over 20 years later, we were able to sit down together at the FHC office and look over old photographs of them back when they were fighting their case against an Ypsilanti landlord. They had attempted to rent a three-bedroom house for themselves and their three children but the owner told them she didn’t want to rent to a family of five. FHC testing revealed that she would rent to a white family of five. The Codringtons’ claim of housing discrimination based on race settled for $15,000.
Each video will show a glimpse of what it is like to experience discrimination, how a community member took action against housing discrimination, and what they gained, learned, lost, or won after resolving their complaint. We hope you are as impressed with our storytellers as we are.
Recording has commenced, and we are working hard to get our stories out to you. In the mean time, check back for progress updates, new photos, and videos of the production process. You can also support our visual storytelling project by giving today.