Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan
PO Box 7825, Ann Arbor, MI 48107 (877) 979-FAIR www.fhcmichigan.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2019
Fair Housing Centers of Michigan Plan Statewide Day of Action to Oppose HUD’s Attempt to Gut Core Civil Rights Protection
The Fair Housing Centers of Metropolitan Detroit, Southeast & Mid Michigan, Southwest Michigan, and West Michigan are calling for a statewide day of action for housing rights. Organizations and individuals should plan to submit comments opposing the changes to the Fair Housing Act at www.DefendCivilRights.org on Wednesday, October 16th.
Please use the hashtags #DefendCivilRights and #DefendMICivilRights in any social media posts.
The four independent fair housing centers recently published an op-ed in The Detroit Free Press – “Trump administration housing rule change would weaken important tool” – and each center has been holding public comment parties, submitting official agency comments, and conducting education and outreach through social media and email blasts.
The Fair Housing Centers are encouraging folks to Speak Out! Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan Director Pam Kisch states, “We want to fill up the day with comments. Just five minutes of your time can help stop the rollback of this key civil rights tool. There is so much on the line here and we need your help.”
Background: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a new rule in August with the potential to dismantle important civil rights protections against discrimination in housing.
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing and in other housing-related activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. However, HUD’s new rule proposes to eliminate the use of “disparate impact” in determining housing discrimination and to raise the burden of proof required to prove discrimination. Moreover, the new rule proposes to release lenders and landlords from responsibility for computer-based algorithms that discriminate while automating decisions about credit scoring, home insurance, and mortgage interest rates.
Since 1977 the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit, a private, non-profit, citizen based organization has worked to help assure equal housing opportunities throughout the metropolitan Detroit area.
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 has an eight-county service area – Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw.
The Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan, a private non-profit organization, is committed to eliminating all forms of housing discrimination in Southwest Michigan through fair housing education, enforcement and advocacy. We currently serve 9 counties in Southwest Michigan: Allegan, Barry, Branch, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren.
The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan is a private, non-profit fair housing organization committed to providing comprehensive fair housing services, including education, outreach, research, advocacy and enforcement. We currently serve 12 counties in western Michigan: Allegan, Grand Traverse, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa.