Durham Hosts Fair Housing Forum April 27

Durham Hosts Fair Housing Forum April 27

Event to Educate on Federal and City Fair Housing Rights

What:              15th Annual Concerns in Community Housing Forum

Who:               City of Durham Department of Human Relations

When:             Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at 5:30 p.m.

Where:            Durham City Hall, Council Chambers
                        101 City Hall Plaza, 1st Floor
                         Durham, N.C.  27701

Fast Facts:
     •  In celebration of April as Fair Housing Month, the City’s Department of Human Relations is hosting the 15th Annual Community Housing Forum.  The forum will focus on explaining fair housing laws and describing the types of housing discrimination that still exist.

     • Forum panelists at this year’s event include Doris Coleman, executive director of Eno Pointe Assisted Living Center; Juanita Massenburg, senior project manager with the City’s Department of Community Development; Yvonne Peña, director of the City’s Department of Human Relations; C.J. Reilly, managing attorney with the Durham Office of Legal Aid of North Carolina; and Rhega Taylor, director of the Housing Choice Voucher Program with the Durham Housing Authority.

     • According to Peña, even though it is 2010, discrimination in housing continues to be a major issue and this forum will explain housing rights and how residents can seek help if they believe they are a victim of housing discrimination.  “We believe that the American Dream of having a safe and decent place to call ‘home’ reflects our shared belief that in this nation, opportunity and success are within everyone’s reach,” Pena said.  “Under our fair housing laws, every citizen is assured the opportunity to build a better life in the home or apartment of their choice, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, family status or disability.”

     • According to Peña, since 1985, the City’s Department of Human Relations has prided itself with ascertaining that fair housing is not just an individual right, it’s the law.  The department administers the City’s Fair Housing Ordinance and is responsible for enforcement of city and federal fair housing laws.  Since the department is the local fair housing agency it has the jurisdiction to receive, initiate, investigate, and conciliate housing discrimination complaints filed with the office.  

     • For more information about this event or fair housing laws, contact Peña at (919) 560-4107, ext. 24245 or via e-mail at yvonne.pena (at) durhamnc (dot) gov

About the Department of Human Relations
The City of Durham’s Department of Human Relations strives to improve race and human relations in the City by working to eliminate discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations; and by prioritizing community outreach and educational activities to meet the needs of Durham’s citizens.  To learn more about this department, visit www.durhamnc.gov/departments/relations.

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