The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Consumer Protection
Unit office has announced a comprehensive campaign for the month of April to
improve community awareness of the fair housing laws and to help eliminate
housing discrimination in the city. April is National Fair Housing Month.
Fair Housing Month Proclamation:
Tonight, the City Council will consider a resolution proclaiming April
as Santa Monica’s official Fair Housing Month. This is in recognition of
the 39th anniversary of Congress passing and President Johnson signing
the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
The City of Santa Monica was one of the first
cities to pass its own fair housing ordinance prohibiting housing
discrimination. The proposed proclamation this week recognizes the value
of all these laws and an open community.
Fair Housing Poster Contest: Elementary
students from across Santa Monica participated in the Consumer Unit’s
annual Fair Housing Poster Contest, creating colorful works that
featured the 2007 theme, “Fair Housing Builds Bridges.” Nine students’
posters were selected for display in the lobby of City Hall during the
week of April 23. Some of the posters will also be published as
calendars for 2008 and will be part of the City’s fair housing ad
Fair Housing Ad Campaign: The city will
place community awareness advertisements in local newspapers beginning
the week of April 9. The “Fair Housing Builds Bridges” display ads will
remind residents that fair0 housing has been the law of the land since
1968. The ads will also notify residents where they can learn more
about the fair housing laws such as
www.fairhousing.com, fair housing videos on
www.youtube.com (just type in
“fair housing” into YouTube’s search feature) as well as the City
Attorney’s consumer-oriented website at
www.smconsumer.org. The city
has urged all local news groups, print and online (all of whom are
subject to the fair housing laws when they publish advertising for the
sale or rental of any housing) to volunteer to republish the ads as many
times as possible during April.
Fair Housing Seminar: The Apartment
Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) and the City’s Consumer
Protection Unit are co-sponsoring a fair housing workshop on April 26,
2007 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica Library. The workshop is
part of the city’s and AAGLA’s efforts to increase awareness in Santa
Monica of the fair housing laws during April, Fair Housing Month. For
more information and to register go to www.smconsumer.org
The workshop’s presenters will explain federal
and state fair housing laws that prohibit housing discrimination. They
will also discuss families with children, reasonable accommodations for
tenants with disabilities, and alternatives to litigation such as
mediation and the administrative complaint process. The presenters
include Beth Rosen-Prinz, California Department of Fair Employment &
Housing; Adam Radinsky, Deputy City Attorney; John Shulhoff, President
of AAGLA; Gary Rhoades, Attorney for the City of Santa Monica; Craig
Mordoh, Local Attorney; and Peter Mezza, Santa Monica Housing Authority.
Lainy Parry, AAGLA Board Member and Santa Monica
resident, said, “Fair housing for all is a practice vigorously pursued
by AAGLA. Everyone deserves a fair shot at getting an apartment, and
AAGLA takes pride in promoting equal opportunity.” Parry also noted
that, “This cooperative venture between AAGLA and the City of Santa
Monica is too rare and should be the beginning of good things to come,
as there is much more common ground for future projects.”
Adam Radinsky, who heads the Consumer Protection
Unit, agreed: “The venture with AAGLA is a great example of a new bridge
being built when two groups sit down to discuss a mutually important
All landlords, property managers, advocates,
attorneys, social service providers, and interested tenants are invited
to attend free of charge. Please go to
register for the workshop (register early as space is limited) or call
310-458-8345 with any questions.
Fair Housing Turns Big Blue: Fair
Housing posters will be placed in all of the City’s Big Blue Buses.
This is the first time the City has utilized the display ad space in the
buses for consumer-oriented awareness messages.
Fair Housing Enforcement: As it has for
many years, the Consumer Protection Unit investigates and prosecutes
violations of the fair housing laws in Santa Monica.
The federal Fair Housing Act, including its
amendments in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination that is based on
race, religion, national origin, gender, or disability. The federal laws
also protect families with children. California’s own Fair Employment
and Housing Act adds additional categories for which discrimination is
prohibited, including ancestry and sexual orientation.