As part of the fair housing project I have been leading at MHAS this year, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with many new community partners. This week has been particularly exciting as my project partnered to present two trainings that were a powerful reminder of both how eager many housing providers are to better understand how they can comply with fair housing laws to better accommodate tenants with disabilities and how grateful case managers who work with clients are to have this much needed information.
On Monday, May 22, I joined AmeriCorps Veterans Legal Corps Fellow Jane Win-Thu, who runs our BeHeLP-UP veterans reentry project, at the Volunteers of America site in East Los Angeles to celebrate Memorial Day through a training of case managers who work directly with veterans on homeless prevention issues. The attendees were eager to understand how to approach landlords about accommodations and how tenant rights intersect with landlord management obligations. The training, attended by about 30 workers, was followed by a legal check-up for veterans run by Jane.
On Tuesday, May 23, MHAS co-sponsored a free fair housing training with social services agency Friends In Deed, with which we partner for a monthly free legal clinic. Nearly 90 folks gathered at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, which hosted the event, to learn about how state and federal fair housing laws are designed to protect access to housing for the most vulnerable among us. Providers present included Union Station, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, mental health workers and building managers.
After the training, Friends In Deed executive director Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater was introduced and I noted that the training provided agencies with the additional opportunity to meet after with each other to discuss homelessness prevention strategies and community service needs.
The need among housing providers and case managers is great for information about how to use fair housing law strategies to protect tenants. I’m grateful to be part of this work.
These two trainings were part of our fair housing education and outreach project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Initiatives Program. For more information about fair housing and our project, visit our website at mhas-la.org/housing.