COLUMBUS – April 9, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) joins the nation in observing April as Fair Housing Month. “Every American deserves a fair chance to secure safe and stable housing,” Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro said in a news release. “At the core of everything we do to improve housing opportunities is a firm belief that no family should ever be denied the opportunity to own or rent a home because of what they look like, where they come from, how they get around, how they speak, who they love and other circumstances of life.” The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed into law just one week after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“For more than 30 years, OHFA has advocated for equal access to affordable, safe and decent housing for all Ohio homebuyers and renters,” said OHFA executive director Doug Garver. “Quality housing impacts virtually every aspect of daily life. That’s why it’s imperative for Ohioans to be aware of their rights.”
Governor of Ohio, John R. Kasich issued a resolution recognizing Fair Housing Month and OHFA’s continuing efforts to provide Ohioans with safe and affordable housing. In Fiscal Year 2014, 14.2 percent of first-time homebuyers served by OHFA were minorities. Since 1987, OHFA has provided financing for 62,700 units of family housing, 23,360 units of senior housing and 3,272 units of permanent supportive housing. Individuals and families seeking permanent supportive housing often have long histories of homelessness and face persistent obstacles to maintaining housing, such as mental illness, a substance use disorder or a chronic medical problem.
Last year, HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partner agencies received 8,468 complaints alleging discrimination based on one or more protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status and disability. During that period, the categories with the highest number of complaints were disability and race, respectively.
The Fair Housing Act applies to housing and housing-related activities, including apartment and home rentals, real estate sales, mortgage lending and homeowners insurance.
“Fair Housing Month is a time to recommit to our goal of eliminating housing discrimination and expanding housing opportunity,” tweeted Castro. “Through Fair Housing Month and beyond, [HUD] remains focused on creating a level playing field so that every American can prosper.”
For more information on OHFA and its programs, visit www.ohiohome.org or call 888.362.6432. For more information on the Fair Housing Act, visit http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp.
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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the state of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state’s foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.
Media Contact: Arlyne Alston
Email: aalston (at) ohiohome (dot) org