Turning a discrimination case into a teachable moment

In early May, our Rental Counselor Jimmy Thomas was assisting a client who was searching for an apartment. “As we were looking through listings, we came across one that said ‘no housing choice vouchers accepted,’” Jimmy said. Under fair housing laws, it’s illegal to use source of income as a discriminating factor. “I filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Relations, who responded swiftly with the landlord.” The complainant and the landlord worked with the Commission to agree on a settlement; as an alternative to suing, the landlord was obliged to attend a CHA Housing Choice Voucher training, submit a list of all their properties to ensure they are in compliance with fair housing laws, and when their next unit becomes available, it should be filled by a housing choice voucher holder. “What Connie from the Commission on Human Relations found pleasantly surprising is that we didn’t build any bad will with the landlord. In fact, we invited them to our gala, Celebrate Home, and they came and had a great time getting to know more about our organization,” Jimmy shared. “I look forward to helping this landlord find future tenants and continuing the relationship.”

Laura Slabaugh