Submitted by Fair Housing Center of Washington.
Lawmakers have been persistent in their quest to increase affordable housing and ensure folks can access it without discrimination. Recently we’ve seen bills pass for more development (HB-1406); removing racially restrictive language from covenants (HB-1335); increasing training for realtors (SB-5378), and more.
At the same time, we as individuals can also do some of the following:
- Learn about the Federal Fair Housing Act. Passed in 1968, it is an extension of previous civil rights legislation and can empower us all as either tenants, advocates, or housing providers. Free training is available online from a variety of sources.
- Require Homeowner’s Associations (HOA) members to be trained. If you live in an HOA or co-op community, request proof that your board members have been trained in the fair housing act and make it a requirement of their participation. You’ll experience fewer issues as a result.
- Meet a new neighbor. To prevent crime, reduce poverty, and create welcoming communities we need to interact more. Take an opportunity to meet a new neighbor with the goal of listening to what drew them to the neighborhood.
We must plant the trees of understanding today as we may one day find ourselves needing their shade.
If you feel you have been discriminated against, contact the Washington State Human Rights Commission at 1-800-233-3247. For help advocating for a disability-related housing need, contact the Fair Housing Center of Washington at www.fhcwashington.org.