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Justice is not something we find but something we create.

We, at the Fair Housing Council of Oregon, take these words seriously. Our work towards ending discrimination in housing and creating open, inclusive, accessible, communities for all is our priority every day. Please help us to ensure equity in housing for all Oregonians by making your year-end contribution Click here to make your tax-deductible donation now.

Your financial support for FHCO helps to make our work possible.  Please help us to continue our mission of helping all people exercise their right to live peacefully where they choose—not where others think they should live. 

If you have already made your gift, thank you! Otherwise, please donate online or mail your year-end donation check to 1221 SW Yamhill St. #305, Portland, Oregon 97205

Together We Make a Neighborhood: 2015 Fair Housing Poster Contest Theme

Get out your kids’ crayons, markers and other styluses! We are now accepting entries for our 17th Annual Fair Housing Poster Contest. The contest, which is open to children from 1st to 8th grade, is a wonderful opportunity to educate young people about their civil rights in housing. Additionally, every child receives a certificate of participation and the 10 winners receive cash awards.

Posters must be horizontally-oriented and on an 11 x 17” sheet of paper or poster board. We will have a brochure available with the detailed instructions in January. In the meantime, look at our
contest page to see previous winners. Entries must be received by March 6th 2015 before the end of the business day. Email for more questions or to receive a PDF of the brochure.

Please feel free to share this contest in your community!

2014 first place poster contest winners, Rebecca Celsi (6--8th grade) and Medini Madhusudan (4--5th grade), pose at Portland City Hall with FHCO Executive Director, Pegge McGuire.
Highlights of FHCO’s 2014 accomplishments include:
  • Fielding more than 2500 live hotline calls;
  • Personally giving approximately 650 immigrants fair housing information in Medford, Salem, The Dalles, Ontario, and Portland through our partnership with the Mexican Consulate;
  • 160 fair housing trainings to 3500 tenants, home buyers, advocates, housing authorities, nonprofit housing providers, landlords, realtors and jurisdictions;
  • Bringing fair housing trainings to 20 counties; focusing on underserved portions of the state, we provided a variety of types of trainings and written materials. This past year we focused on Eastern Oregon, the North Central Coast and Southern Oregon;
  • Advocating for hundreds of victims of discrimination and resolving their issues quickly and informally, without the need for formal administrative complaints or costly litigation. These issues included reasonable accommodations and modifications, mediating eviction or termination notices, and negotiating more time to cure a violation of a rental agreement;
  • Settling 10 formal complaints this year involving disability discrimination, family status, gender and domestic violence. We have several others in litigation involving sexual orientation, national origin and other protected classes. One large settlement included a victim’s assistance fund for Portland State University students who were victims of disability discrimination by the university; 
  • Working tirelessly to educate landlords throughout the state about the new law protecting Section 8 voucher holders, prioritizing education over enforcement; and
  • Successful acceptance of 62% of our assist letters on behalf of clients.
Tenant Screening without Social Security Numbers: There are Options!

In recent weeks, FHCO staff members have received quite a few questions – from both housing consumers and housing providers - regarding tenant screening for applicants who do not have a Social Security number (SSN). With President Obama’s immigration action, approximately 4 million U.S. residents who are currently undocumented will have the opportunity to apply for work permits and SSNs. The campaign around Measure 88 (the “driver card” measure) also brought discussions of immigration in Oregon to the forefront this fall.  Whatever your personal position is on these recent events, the fact remains that many Oregon housing seekers do not have an SSN, and many will still not, even when the President’s programs are activated.  The fact is that the Fair Housing Act and Oregon anti-discrimination law apply to everyone present in the United States, regardless of immigration status. 

Click here to learn more about how you can screen tenants without a social security number

Fair Housing Focus on Newport and Lincoln County

After a successful fair housing circuit riding expedition to Eastern Oregon (specifically Ontario, La Grande and Pendleton) this past summer, the Education and Outreach Team made a similar trek to the north-central Oregon coast this fall.  Diane Hess and Louise Dix offered several trainings to housing providers and advocates in the Newport area over a two week period.

FHCO trained the staff of the Housing Authority of Lincoln County on October 21. Trainings were held October 20 for the staff of the Help Center, Samaritan House shelter and for the staff of My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter.  Help Center is Lincoln County School District's HELP (Homeless Education & Literacy Project) Program which provides services to the over 471 homeless students to help them overcome barriers and stay successful in school.  They have locations in Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport and Toledo. 

Samaritan House Family Shelter, located in Newport, is currently the only family homeless shelter on the central Oregon coast between Tillamook to the north and Coos Bay to the south. It offers transitional shelter, case management and support services.

My Sister’s Place, also located in Newport, provides supportive services in Lincoln County to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating abuse. Services include crisis intervention, emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis line, safety planning, advocacy, court information and support, agency referral, education and outreach activities.

While in Newport, Diane and Louise met with Linda Gast and Amber Frye of Legal Aid Services of Oregon and with Housing Case Managers from the Community Services Consortium, Sharon Cox and Kacy Jensen.  They also met with DHS Family Self Sufficiency staff to explain fair housing and FHCO services.

Louise returned to the coast on November 10th to provide a training workshop for the Lincoln County Board of Realtors®, which was attended by approximately 25 real estate agents.  She held a workshop on fair housing basics for Lincoln County landlords and property managers that evening.

Diane Hess was interviewed by local radio stations, KNCU, KYTE FM and FSHR and KPPT, which cover the coast.

The next circuit riding trek will be to Yamhill and Columbia Counties in spring 2015.
Copyright © 2014 Fair Housing Council of Oregon, All rights reserved.