Earlier this year, I blogged about the work we would be doing under our fair housing education and outreach grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Now more than halfway through the grant year, I am happy to say that I have seen the grant become the basis for greater community collaboration among agencies committed to serving clients experiencing, or on the brink of, homelessness.
Those of us who work with clients who are looking for housing or who are struggling to maintain their housing see a continuing challenge to stable housing—that is, threats of eviction or termination of housing subsidies in ways that are inconsistent with their rights under state and federal fair housing laws. Through our HUD grant, MHAS has been able to grow its partnership with other concerned advocates and agencies to educate a greater number of residents, families, and housing providers than would have been possible without these community partners.
As an example, MHAS has grown its service to and connections with the greater Pasadena community. Friends In Deed, a social services agency that runs Pasadena’s Bad Weather Shelter and The Women’s Room for homeless women has partnered on two community trainings. The Pasadena Tenants Union and the Accessibility Issues office of the Pasadena Human Services and Recreation Department have worked to connect us with more tenants with disabilities, who can face unique threats to their housing stability if denied reasonable accommodations. As resources for housing subsidies and affordable housing units become even more limited, MHAS is heartened by individuals and agencies throughout Los Angeles County who continue to commit to working together to protect tenant rights.