May 20, 2021
HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi and City, State, Federal and Local Fair Housing partners today declared the first ever Nationwide Virtual Fair Housing Conference a tremendous success that exceeded all expectations.
The Hawai’i Civil Rights Commission, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, the city and county of Honolulu, and the three counties of Neighbor Island, hold Fair Housing Conferences every April, in conjunction with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Typically these sessions are held through a one-day face-to-face event on each island. Over the past few years, the city has had an average of 325 to 350 participants at the Neal Blaisdell Center. However, due to COVID-19, all in-person training for 2020 has been canceled and fair living coordinators across the country are considering what to do for the 2021 calendar year.
Earlier this year, the planning group decided to pool its resources to virtually hold a nationwide fair housing conference, as travel between the islands was limited and large gatherings were still not allowed for security reasons. Due to its size and platform capacity, the city has voluntarily agreed to carry out this action entitled “Fair Living: More than just words” for 2021 on its WebEx platform for two hours every Thursday of the month. Space was limited to the first 1,000 applicants that the group surpassed in the first five days after the training was announced.
“Addressing affordable housing and homelessness issues requires community efforts to maximize the potential impact. The more people work on the solutions, the better it is for everyone,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “We are delighted about the enormous interest in this training and are grateful that our experts such as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi have been working together for many years as part of fair housing Trainings on Oahu. ”
What makes this really encouraging is that almost 50% of all participants are learning fair housing for the first time this year, which means that more people are learning about protecting fair housing.
This year’s training began on April 1st with an overview of “Fair Housing 101”, which gave the participants a basic understanding of the requirements for fair housing as well as the complaint and evaluation process. This session was followed by sessions on the following topics: “Fair living in times of COVID”, in which the relationships and evictions of landlords were dealt with by landlords; “Race, skin color and national origin: training to protect fair living conditions”; “Fair living: access and security” on the topics of gender, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status and hānai status; and ended April 29th with a session on “Disability and fair living”, in which appropriate accommodation and change requests as well as help animals were dealt with.
The individuals and groups participating in this year’s nationwide virtual training included:
– private landlords;
– brokers and real estate agents;
– Lawyers dealing with fair living
– Resident Manager and Property Manager
– Association of homeowners and members of the Master Planned Community Board
– Qualities that work with people with disabilities
– State and Municipal Housing Operations and Financing Departments and Agencies;
– Non-profit organizations that operate emergency shelters and permanent supportive accommodation
– Tenants interested in learning more about their rights under fair housing laws
“Education and outreach are key tools to understand our roles and responsibilities in fair living,” said Sarah Allen, director of the community service department. “In collaboration with our partners, we have created a YouTube training channel that is open to the public. You can find these training modules at www.honolulu.gov/dcs and click on the conference link. We encourage everyone who wants to learn more to get in touch and use this resource. “
105 Kaua’i (9.97% of the total)
662 CCH (63.87%)
137 Maui (13.01%)
149 Hawaii (14.15%)
54 Kaua’i (51.51% for the first time compared to total island registrants)
328 CCH (49.55%)
77 Maui (56.20%)
67 Hawaii (44.97%)
ONLINE PARTICIPATION PER SESSION
Session 1 “Fair Housing 101” 854 participants
Session 2 “Fair Living in Times of COVID” 897
Session 3, “Race Color and National Origin” 672
Session 4 “Fair Living: Access and Security” 636
Gender (gender identity and expression),
Sexual orientation and marital status
Session 5 “Disability and the Fair Housing Act 599
A total of 3,658
Average of 732 per session
YOUTUBE STATS until May 6, 2021
Since the videos were posted on April 12, they have received 217 additional views.
- FH101 part 1 – 55
- FH101 part 2 – 35
- Fair living in times of COVID – 44
- Race Color National Origin – 27
- Fair access to housing and security – 32
- Disability and Fair Housing Act – 14
About the Fair Housing Act
On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1968 Civil Rights Act, which was intended as a follow-up to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The 1968 Act expanded previous laws and prohibited discrimination in relation to the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, gender (and, as amended), disability and marital status. Title VIII of the Act is also known as the Fair Housing Act (of 1968).
The law on fair housing prohibits discrimination in housing construction based on:
- National origin
- marital status
About Hawaii’s fair housing efforts
Hawaii’s fair housing law actually preceded federal civil rights a year. Act 193 on Preventing Discrimination in Real Estate Transactions was passed and enacted in June 1967 with the approval of Governor John Burns. According to the report by the House Judiciary Committee, the bill reflected many provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act model of the National Conference of Commissioners on Unified State Laws.
HRS Chapter 515 prohibits discrimination on the basis of:
- Sexual orientation,
- Gender identity and expression,
- Marital status,
- Age and
- Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 and Chapter 515, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are the primary tools used to combat discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing in the state of Hawaii.
The Federal Fair Housing Act and Chapter 515, Hawaii Revised Statutes, prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, race / national origin, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, and infection with the person human immunodeficiency virus.
This news release was produced by the City and County of Honolulu. The views expressed are those of the author.
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