REALTORS® Stand Up Against Housing Discrimination

The Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS® (AAABoR) is partnering with the Fair Housing Center to support the 2021 REALTORS® for Fair Housing Campaign

“We are asking local REALTORS® to publicly pledge their support for the letter and the spirit of fair housing law,” said Tom Renkert, Chief Executive Officer, Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®. “We understand what an important role REALTORS® have in ending discrimination, and we stand by our Code of Ethics and commitment to diverse communities.”

Interested REALTORS® can visit this link to read more about the campaign and take a stand against discrimination in housing. Or, go directly to the google form to sign on now!

Funds raised from this investment go to supporting the Fair Housing Center’s mission to end discrimination in housing and public accommodations and to promote accessible, integrated communities.

This April, the nation will be celebrating the 52nd Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. This landmark civil rights legislation was the result of years of individual and collective struggle against discrimination in sales, rental, financing and other housing-related transactions. The Act now protects the buyer or renter of a dwelling from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

Read the full press release here.

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New Section 8 Housing Voucher Protections

The City of Ann Arbor and the City of Ypsilanti have both recently changed their non-discrimination ordinances to specifically include housing vouchers (section 8) in the protected class of source of income. Citizens who feel they have been illegally denied a housing opportunity due to their housing voucher can contact the Fair Housing Center at 877-979-3247 or complaints@fhcmichigan.org.

Links to both ordinances are on our website at fhcmichigan.org/what-we-do/about-the-law

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Criminal Background and Housing Info

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

If you’ve heard any of those statements (or others), call the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan at 877-979-FAIR (3247) or email complaints@fhcmichigan.org. We are ready to help and all of our services are free. www.fhcmichigan.org/background

Federal laws do not currently prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of criminal background or arrest record. However, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acknowledges the widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system and therefore criminal history-based restrictions pertaining to housing are likely to disproportionately burden African Americans, Latinos, and other people of color.

While the Act does not prohibit housing providers from appropriately considering criminal history information when making housing decisions, the use of arbitrary and overbroad criminal history-related restrictions or bans are likely to lack a legally sufficient justification and can be as discriminatory. If you think you have experienced housing discrimination or have a question about fair housing, call us at 877-979-3247.

picture of "for rent" sign
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2020 FHC Newsletter Available Now

12/16/2020

By now you should have received our latest newsletter at your home or business. If you haven’t*, or you’d like to see the digital color version, you can view it online right now. Highlights include information on recently filed cases, disability rights success stories, and general updates. If you find the Fair Housing Center’s work compelling, please share our newsletter or social media and help spread the word. Thank you!

*Didn’t get a printed copy and want one? Have questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you at info@fhcmichigan.org

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Monroe Woman Resolves Fair Housing Claim

Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan
PO Box 7825, Ann Arbor, MI 48107 (877) 979-FAIR www.fhcmichigan.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2020

Media Contacts: Pamela A. Kisch, (734) 636-0860; Michael J. Steinberg, (313) 570-8622

Monroe Woman Resolves Fair Housing Claim

The Civil Rights Litigation Initiative, a new legal clinic at the University of Michigan Law
School, has won a victory for Monroe, Michigan resident Sheila Ashley in a disability
discrimination case. Ms. Ashley accepted $5,000 from a Monroe area Real Estate
broker, Edward Pipis, to resolve her fair housing complaint. “I am very, very pleased
with the way this turned out,” said Ms. Ashley.

Ms. Ashley contacted the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan in 2018
after she was denied the right to install a ramp at the entrance of an apartment in
Monroe. Ms. Ashley has a disability and uses a wheelchair.

Testing by the Fair Housing Center supported Ms. Ashley’s claim that Edward Pipis
refused to rent to her because she wished to install a ramp in order to gain access to
the apartment.

The case was resolved by law students Will McCartney, Claire Shimberg and Natalie Treacy, working under the supervision of Professor Michael J. Steinberg, Director of the
Civil Rights Litigation Initiative of the University of Michigan Law School. Ms. Ashley
called Professor Steinberg and the law students, “heaven sent,” and said they “helped
her through so much.”

The Civil Rights Litigation Initiative just filed another Fair Housing Center-referred case
last week. Testing by the Fair Housing Center supported the claim of discrimination
based on familial status and sex.


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 180 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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