What is Fair Housing?
Discrimination, based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status or national origin, in connection with the sale or rental of most housing and any vacant land offered for residential construction or use, is illegal under the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601-3619)
and under the Texas Fair Housing Act
. It is also illegal to threaten, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting other who exercise that right.
In addition to the Fair Housing Act and the Texas Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended (29 U.S.C. 794)
prohibits the discrimination of persons based on their disability by employers and organizations that receive financial assistance from any Federal department or agency, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Section 504 gives individuals the right to live in federally subsidized housing free from discrimination on the basis of disability.
What are We Doing to Further Fair Housing...
The City of Dickinson actively seeks to promote fair housing in our community. We are taking steps to ensure our residents are aware of their rights and have access to information regarding fair housing laws and practices. The City has developed a Fair Housing Activity Statement (FHAST Form) and a Revised Long-Term Plan for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing 2010-2015, which identifies impediments to fair housing in our community, reports past actions taken by the City to further fair housing, and describes current and future actions to be taken. Other City actions include:
- Fair Housing Advisory Committee
In September of 2010, the City created a Fair Housing advisory Committee to discuss and identify potential impediments to fair housing that may exist in the City of Dickinson. The FHAC meets regularly to address fair housing issues and determine possible solutions to those issues. The FHAC is made up of representatives from different protected classes and representatives from Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation, and the Ministerial Alliance.
On February 26, 2011, the City of Dickinson hosted its first Housing Family Fair to provide the opportunity to learn about community resources available to our residents. The Fair, designed to attract first time home buyers, was a one-stop shop for those interested in learning about the resources available to potential homebuyers. Local organizations and real estate experts were on hand to discuss credit counseling programs, home maintenance and home safety tips, home lending and first time homebuyer assistance programs.
Based on the positive response to the first Housing Family Fair, the City of Dickinson and the Dickinson Fair Housing Work Group has since hosted the event on an annual basis. Attendees are invited to come learn about the home buying process, meet local realtors and lenders, and learn about the numerous resources to help make home ownership possible for everyone. Future Housing Family Fairs will be held each year on the third Saturday of February.