Celebrating Fair Housing Month
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” famous words by the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that still resonate in our society today. King’s ideals inspired our nation to take action, move forward and to promote equality in all aspects of life for all Americans. His legacy has become the foundation in which civil rights and equal justice are built upon. At Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF) equal justice is at the heart of our mission.
“Each April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses Fair Housing Month to mark the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the landmark law passed shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status.” (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD Marks Fair Housing Month. Hud.gov)
Like HUD, CLSMF celebrates Fair Housing month every April. Our organization’s dedicated advocates and attorneys honor this month by participating in a variety of community outreach events across Central Florida. These events are intended to inspire us to continue on the path to end discrimination through education and taking action.
One such event is the statewide Florida Fair Housing Summit that will be held in Orlando on April 29th at the Rosen Center Hotel. This year’s theme is One Community for All: Creating Inclusive Communities for Diverse Abilities and Cultures. During the one-day Summit members of the community, local government administrators, local housing providers, property managers, attorneys, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and fair housing advocates will come together to experience a conference intended to educate, engage and motivate them. The conference is filled with intense workshops and features two innovative keynote speakers, Matthew Dietz, civil rights Litigation Director of Disability Independence Group in Miami, and Colleen Starkloff, co-founder of the Starkloff Disability Institute in St. Louis Missouri. All of the workshops are free and open to the public.
In Marion County, CLSMF is co-hosting the first annual Real Estate Expo at the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors (OMCAR) Auditorium and Grounds on April 26th. This Expo will be a one-stop event where residents can meet with lenders, credit counselors, and agencies that can assist prospective home buyers with financial assistance. This event is also free and opens to the public to feature educational sessions on topics that will inform attendees about the home buying process. CLSMF’s Fair Housing Unit will present information on Fair Lending, predatory loans and the Fair Housing Act. Other sessions will focus on understanding credit, rebuilding credit and the realtor’s role in buying a home.