Fair Housing Council of the San Fernando Valley
This Issue is Dedicated to the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Drum Major for Justice.
Fair Housing & Families with Children:
In 2010, The Fair Housing Council of In these complaints, it was not
the San Fernando Valley investigated a total of uncommon to find children who were ter-
105 complaints based on familial status discrimi- rified of the manager and who experienced Summer 2011
nation. The majority of these complaints were physical & emotional distress, directly at-
from in-place tenants who alleged that as fami- tributed to the housing discrimination.
lies with children, they are treated differently A sad reality is that parents often
"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?'
Expediency asks the question, '
than tenants that do not have children. tolerate the discriminatory treatment of
Is it politic?'
Most of the complaints alleged overly their children because they fear being evict-
restrictive rules that ban children from playing ed and financially can’t afford to move. Vanity asks the question,
outside in the common area; rules requiring This creates additional stress and tension in 'Is it popular?'
parents take their children to the park to play; the home. But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it
rules imposing curfews; rules restricting chil- Over the past 4-5 years, it was
dren from using the recreational amenities, rare to receive complaints that had written And there comes a time when one must
take a position that is neither safe, nor
e.g., pool, gym, rec. room; and rules limiting discriminatory rules; Management Compa- politic, nor popular, but one must take it
the use of amenities to adults only or restricting nies and landlords made great strides in because one's conscience tells one that it is
the hours of use for children. right."
scrutinizing & sanitizing rental documents
In the more egregious complaints par- to remove restrictive rules targeting chil- -Martin Luther King Jr.
ents alleged harassment & intimidation by man- dren. However in the last year, the Council
agers, e.g., yelling, screaming & cursing at their has observed the reemergence of written _
children, calling the police or child protective discriminatory rules and notices.
services on families and seizing toys from the Increased funding for remedial
children and throwing them in the garbage. outreach is needed to address this trend.
Inside this issue:
Contribution Form 3
Board of Directors 3
Accessible & Affordable 3
Upcoming Events 4
Taken from an actual complaint in North Hollywood, CA (2010)
Council News Corner
HELPING HOMEOWNERS & TENANTS DURING TOUGH TIME$
Since 2008, the Council has been an active partner in the Center for Foreclosure Solutions, a coalition of
community organizations (spearheaded by Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services) working to assists home-
owners at risk of foreclosure negotiate with their lender to save their homes and avoid foreclosure. The Council’s
program includes providing assistance to homeowners through foreclosure prevention counseling, loan modifica-
tion assistance and referrals for homeowners who have been victims of foreclosure rescue scams.
Sandy Couch, the Council’s paralegal; has done a phenomenal job assisting homeowners; since March she has
successfully negotiated 5 permanent and 1 trial loan modifications for homeowners. Each homeowner was able to
avoid foreclosure and remain in their home and significantly reduce the interest rate and monthly mortgage payment
by hundreds of dollars.
In once such case, Sandy assisted a low income homeowner who has owned his home since 1998, delay the
trustee’s sale on the house and negotiate a permanent loan modification with a fixed 2% loan for 5 years and a re-
duction in payment from approximately $1,200 per month (not including taxes and insurance) to approximately
$800 per month (including PITI) for the first 5 years. After the first 5 years, the remaining payments the homeown-
er will pay is $750 for 5 years and $650 a month for the last 4 years remaining on the loan.
Our program to assists tenant includes advocacy and providing one-on-one counseling and direct interven-
tion to renters caught in the quagmire between the lenders and the former owner of the property, intervention is
both prior to an eviction being filed and post eviction assistance, when possible..
This is especially important in monolingual immigrant speaking communities where tenants do not always
have written contracts or rent receipts because these tenants normally pay their rent in cash and only have verbal
contracts. Many of these tenants have lived in their current homes for years, but lack the required documents re-
quested by banks to substantiate their tenancies. The Council has helped these tenants gather alternative documen-
tation to validate their legal tenancy and intervened on their behalf directly to the lender, investor, trustee or attor-
ney representing the owner of the property.
All of the tenants (families with children, individuals with disabilities, immigrants and Section-8 voucher
holders) that have contacted the Council were unaware of their rights and the laws that protect tenants during fore-
closure. In 2010, at least 38 percent of residential foreclosures in California were rentals; this figure is expected to
climb as more people enter the rental market and foreclosures continue. As previous homeowners reenter the rent-
al market with impaired credit and larger families to search for housing, the Council will need to closely monitor
& provide increased public education about fair housing (especially terms & conditions) and landlord/tenant is-
The Council in its efforts to provide increased awareness to the public will be participating in a joint outreach
efforts with The Center for Foreclosure Solutions at an upcoming event: For homeowners, homebuyers and/or
tenants who want information about the foreclosure process, home buying, housing counseling and tenant’s right,
please attend this free event.
There is HELP available for families in distress & HOPE for families who wish to buy a home
H OMEOWNERSHIP &
F ORECLO SU RE C OUNSELING F AIR
S ATU RDAY , S EPTEMBER 10, 2011
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
L OS A NGELES M ISSIO N C OLLEGE
13356 E LDRIDGE A VENU E , S YLMAR , CA 91342
Summer 2011 Page 3
Support The Fair Housing Council of the San Fernando Valley!
Name: ______________________________ Select One:
Organization: ______________________________ Individual
Address: ______________________________ Organization
City, State, Zip Code: ______________________________
Phone, E-mail: ______________________________
Select One: Contributing Member ($25) Supporting Member ($50)
Sustaining Member ($75) Sponsoring Member ($100)
A CCESSIBLE & A FFORDABLE H OUSING
Board of Directors
There is a tremendous need for 3. Usable doors (usable by a person in a
accessible housing in Los Angeles, but
there is an even greater need for housing President
4. Accessible route into and through the
that is both accessible & affordable.
Locating accessible housing in the Loretta Kelly
5. Light switches, electrical outlets, ther- 1st Vice President
City of Los Angeles presents a great num-
mostats and other environmental con-
ber of challenges, but the Council is com-
trols in accessible locations
mitted to expanding opportunity for fair Winnie Davis
housing choice for individuals with disabili- 6. Reinforced walls in bathrooms for later Recording Secretary
ties. installation of grab bars.
“ The Fair Housing Act ( FHA) 7. Usable kitchens and bathrooms. Betsy Johnson
requires all "covered multifamily dwellings"
There are additional requirements Recording Secretary
designed and constructed for first occupan-
for recipients of federal funding; under
cy after March 13, 1991 to be accessible to
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of Donald Bagwell, Jr.
and usable by people with disabilities. Cov-
1973; newly constructed multi-family hous-
ered multifamily dwellings are all dwelling
ing or housing that is substantially renovat-
units in buildings containing four or more
ed must have a minimum of 5 percent of
units with one or more elevators, and all Juanita Bankhead
the total dwelling units or at least one unit,
ground floor units in buildings containing Wade Rice
whichever is greater, be made accessible to
four or more units, without an elevator.: Mildred Stewart
persons with mobility impairments. An
There are seven basic requirements of additional 2 percent, or not less than one
the FHA that must be met to comply with unit, must be accessible for persons with ADVISORY BOARD
the law: sensory im- pairments. Wendy Furth
1. An accessible building entrance on an Debra Levey
accessible route Trudy Sibley
Dr. Robert Wakamatsu
2. Accessible public and common use
areas Robert Winn
This Issue is Dedicated to the Legacy
of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Drum
Major for Justice.
Fair Housing Council of the San Fernando Valley
8134 Van Nuys Blvd. #206
Panorama City, CA 91402
Equal Opportunity in Housing
is Your Right!!!
Mark Your Calendar
join us for a Free SAVE THE DATE ALARMING STATISTICS ABOUT
Fair Housing Train- CHILDREN……..
ing, Thursday, 19th Annual
*Approximately 15.5 million American children live
Sept. 22, 2011
Fair Housing under the poverty line (1 in 5 children—including 1 in
3 Black and Hispanic children, and 1 in 10 White
here at our offices, children—lives in poverty) 6.9 million live in extreme
Laws & Litigation Conference poverty at less than half the 11,025 poverty level for
located at 8134 Van a family of four. One in 4 children in America go to
Nuys, Blvd. #206. February 16-17, 2012 bed hungry each night.
Panorama City, 91402. Refreshments will be pro- * Children’s Legal Defense Fund
Would you, or someone you know,
The hope of a secure and livable
The Congressional Black Caucus
like to fight housing discrimination ? Become a Job Fair Initiative
world lies with disciplined non-
volunteer by attending a training! Qualified conformist who are dedicated to
participants can earn a stipend $25- $50 per Crenshaw Christian Center justice, peace and brotherhood
test. Please attend our Tester Training, West 7901 S. Vermont Avenue Los
Angeles, CA 90044 Martin Luther King, Jr.
Saturday, September 17th, 10:00– Town Hall: August 30, 6:00pm -8:00pm
12:30pm. Job Fair: August 31, 9:00am – 5:00pm