Interfaith Action Network Monthly
March 2019

Ready, Set, Action
It may be cold outside, but things are heating up around fair housing in the New York City region.

In February, the FHJC participated in events across the region to talk about fair housing and building the beloved community, trained four new Fair Housing Leaders, and has been active on several key policy issues in the city and state that will foster more open, accessible, and inclusive communities.

There is a lot going on, and a lot coming up. So read below for the latest updates and stay tuned for an action-packed Spring.
Below are some educational resources we recommend for you to learn more about fair housing.

  • Under federal fair housing law, newly constructed buildings (built since 1991) are required to be designed and constructed in an accessible manner. However, many newly constructed buildings within New York City are failing to live up to this mandate. Check out a recent New York Times article on the nature and scope of this issue. Last month, the Fair Housing Justice Center filed a federal fair housing lawsuit around this very issue. On February 7, the FHJC filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) alleging that a top developer of luxury multi-family housing failed to design and construct two rental buildings, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, in compliance with accessibility requirements under local, state, and federal fair housing laws. The defendants named in the lawsuit include JDS Development LLC, SHoP Architects LLP, Property Markets Group, Inc., CETRA/CRA Architecture, PLLC, and Werber Management, Inc. Read more about this lawsuit here.

  • Do you live in Westchester County and want to learn more about housing? On March 9, from 11 am to 4 pm, there will be a Fair & Affordable Housing Expo at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. Housing Expo participants can attend seminars on a variety of housing issues, as well as meet with counselors, realtors, lenders, and other professionals throughout the day. Learn more about this expo here.

  • Want to get a better grasp on school segregation in New York City? On March 4 & 5, Epic Theatre Ensemble will be performing two new plays on this issue, "Nothing About Us" and "Overdrive." Commissioned by NY Appleseed, "Nothing About Us" is a rigorous, passionate and hilarious exploration of educational segregation written and performed by those most affected and least consulted: NYC Public High School students. "Overdrive" is about the role of standardized assessments in public schools. Learn more and RSVP for one of these upcoming shows here.
Time to get out and advocate in your community! Below are some advocacy updates and ways that you can get involved.

  • Last month, the FHJC and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. released the Regional Affordable and Fair Housing Roundtable's policy agenda, "Closing the Divide: Creating Equitable, Inclusive, and Affordable Communities." If you have not already, you can download this policy agenda here and learn more about how you can be part of the work to close the divide in housing in the New York City metropolitan region. There are a variety of opportunities for you the be involved in making some of the recommendations within the the report a reality. Also, check out this Shelterforce article on the groundbreaking work of our Roundtable.

  • Things are heating up with the #BanIcomeBiasNY Coalition, which is working to make source of income a protected characteristic under New York State Human Rights Law. There is a lot of activity in Albany on this issue now, and there are a variety of ways that people can participate in and support this work. You can join this coalition to expand source of income protections statewide here. You can also follow the coalition on Twitter and Facebook. There will also be an lobby day coming up, so stay tuned for more details.

  • The FHJC is also a member of the New York City Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (ASID), a coalition that is working to combat the pervasive and systemic segregation within New York City public schools. There are many ways that people can be involved with this effort. Check out ASID's policy agenda, which includes more detailed information about how ASID is working to integrate and desegregate our schools. Additionally, ASID hosts regular gatherings to educate New Yorkers on this issue and to share updates on what progress has been made, next steps, and ways that people can get involved and support ASID's work. The next three general meetings will be on March 26, April 30, and May 28. Check out ASID's calendar to learn more about the coalition's upcoming events.

  • Wondering how you can advance fair housing in your community? Check out our list of 30 Ways to Advance Fair Housing here.
Building the Beloved Community
Want to get involved in the Building the Beloved Community interfaith initiative in some other way? Below are some updates from our interfaith initiative:

  • During February, the FHJC hosted two more Fair Housing Leadership trainings, during which we welcomed four new Fair Housing Leaders into the fold! We are excited to see what these Fair Housing Leaders will do as they go back into their communities and continue to develop an action plan to create change. If you are interested in our Fair Housing Leadership program, email us to learn more.

  • The FHJC participated in events across the region to educate people on fair housing issues and discuss the Building the Beloved Community initiative. If you are a member of a group, congregation or community that would benefit from learning more about their fair housing rights and how to combat housing discrimination, invite us to host a fair housing presentation in your community. If you are interested in hosting an event in your community, fill out the form on our website and we will be in touch to set it up.
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”

Cornel West

Fair Housing Justice Center | 30-30 Northern Blvd., Suite 302, Long Island City, NY 11101
| (212) 400 - 8201 | (212) 400 - 8203 |