Fair Housing builds inclusive communities
Published on April 13, 2022
For some, housing discrimination can add additional hurdles to securing safe, permanent housing. Local officials from Cabarrus County and the cities of Concord and Kannapolis work to prevent and address local housing discrimination.
To help increase understanding of the Fair Housing Act and rights afforded by it, the agencies are collaborating on “Fair Housing: More Than Just Words,” a virtual presentation on Thursday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The featured speaker is City of Concord Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Emma Sellers.
The event is open to all members of the community, but Cabarrus County Director of Planning and Development Kelly Sifford hopes local landlords, Realtors, lenders and insurance agents will actively participate in the discussion. Sifford’s department administers the County’s Fair Housing program and is one of the presenters.
Made illegal through Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, housing discrimination can take many forms. Fair Housing Act legislation eliminates barriers that restrict access to housing opportunities based on protected characteristics, which are race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status and disability.
The County and cities are recipients of federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds, which requires the agencies to further the policies and purposes of the Act. The agencies screen impediments to fair housing choice and refer complaints to the N.C. Human Relations Commission, which maintains records of investigations and corrective actions.
Sifford believes many local issues could be prevented through proper education on what is considered discrimination when renting or selling properties, lending credit and insuring properties.
Examples of discriminatory practices include:
- Running discriminatory advertisements (e.g., “No kids allowed”)
- Using stall tactics to avoid showing a home to a buyer
- Denying loans or insurance to prospective homebuyers in certain neighborhoods
“The legalities of discrimination should be understood,” Sifford said. “Conversations and education on the nuances of the law can help our community understand how discrimination finds its way into housing interactions and prevent it from happening in the future.“
To learn more about the Fair Housing Act, including who it protects and what is prohibited, visit hud.gov/fairhousing.
Register for “Fair Housing: More Than Just Words”
To attend the virtual presentation, register online at cabarruscounty.us/events or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, organization, email and phone number. Registrants will receive a link to the virtual presentation. The deadline to register is April 20.
A recording will be made available to those who cannot attend. To request the recording, email email@example.com.