Fair Housing is a Right

GOLF MANOR, OHIO (4/4/21) Submitted by Golf Manor Mayor Stefan Densmore

Today is the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who at the time of his assassination was working on a campaign that among other things was trying to insure fair housing for all people.

At week after King’s assassination, President Johnson signed something called the Fair Housing Act, to further the country in a direction of putting an end to inequities in our housing system and eliminate racial segregation in American neighborhoods — to guarantee that all people in America have the right to obtain the housing free from discrimination. The law prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, and requires Federal, State, and local governments to proactively dismantle the discriminatory structures that hold back people of color and other underserved populations from equitable access to the neighborhoods of their choice.

In 1988 there were amendments added extending the law’s protections to Americans with disabilities and families with children– and just 2 months ago the White House issued a rule change to ensure that the law also guards against discrimination targeting LGBTQ+ Americans.

Access to quality housing is about more than having a roof over one’s head — it is the foundation for achieving better educational, employment, and health outcomes, as well as one of the most important ways that families build wealth that they can pass along across generations.

This past week the President wrote: “It is our shared duty to work together to ensure that every person has equitable access to all of the opportunities our communities provide — and that no one faces barriers to getting a good education, having quality health care, eating healthy food, or finding stable employment that allows their family to thrive solely because of where they live. This is a moral responsibility that cannot wait, particularly at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted and exacerbated the lack of safe, affordable places to live for far too many people in America.”

He calls upon us this month to take action to ensure everyone has fair housing choices. In that spirit I’m working on highlighting housing resources available to our residents: Federal, State, and County resources available year round, as well as resources available specifically related to the economic damage of the current pandemic. Some of these resources (specific to the pandemic) can be found at 513relief.org, which is a website put together by our County Commissioners. Another resource is the housing tab of the Cincinnati Chapter of United Resource Connection, a nonprofit of which I’m affiliated. All these links are to free resources, whether it be free assistance programs to help individuals and families, whether they are tenants or homeowners, to pay bills to thereby stay in their housing of choice, or free assistance programs to help get repair work done to your car or home, to help you stay in your housing of choice; or even free assistance programs to help you find housing choices if you have lost your housing.

This report is respectfully submitted to the Village residents of Golf Manor. Thank you for the honor of being your Mayor.

Stefan Densmore, Mayor, Village of Golf Manor

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