April is Fair Housing Month
To learn more about your fair housing rights and responsibilities, attend any of the following events in your area and around Missouri throughout the month:
- The City of Columbia presents a Fair Housing & Lending Seminar on Friday, April 7, beginning at 8:15 a.m., at City Hall, 701 East Broadway. Arrive early to the event, co-sponsored by the Columbia Housing Authority, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, and the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission and Disability Commission, for breakfast sponsored by the Central Bank of Boone County. Visit online for additional detail or to register.
- Apply to attend the Missouri Housing Institute, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Missouri Foundation for Health, and the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Selected teams will meet monthly in Jefferson City to develop supportive housing projects in their communities. To request an application to participate in the Institute or for further information, visit the site.
- On April 6, the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council presents its annual fair housing training conference, Evicted: Poverty and Fair Housing in St. Louis, from 8:15 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Washington University’s Brown School, St. Louis. Visit online for tickets.
- Broaden your affordable fair housing compliance knowledge at the St. Louis Apartment Association’s April 18 Avoiding Top Errors – LIHTC Training. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. in the lower level classroom at 12777 Olive Boulevard. Check out the site for additional resources and events.
- Fair Housing for our Precious Resource is the 2017 theme for the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency’s fair housing event highlighting seniors. The April 26 luncheon and conference will be held at the Polish Heritage Center and will honor Dr. Ed Wartts with CREA’s 2017 Fair Housing Distinguished Service Award. For additional information, contact Denise Jefferson at [email protected] or 314-662-3301.
- Join your neighbors at the weekly Wednesday lunchtime Neighborhoods and Public Safety meeting from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at City Hall, 26th Floor, 404 East 12th Street, Kansas City. Visit the website for additional details.
- The Kansas City Human Relations Department is hosting a fair housing mini summit focusing on knowing your immigration rights and economic injustice. The annual event will be held on April 27, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at the Plaza Library. Call 816-513-1836 for additional information.
- Catch Protecting the American Dream rally and lunch on April 7, beginning at noon at Stoney Creek Hotel, Independence. For further detail or to sign the pledge supporting a healthy and resilient housing market, visit online.
More housing information and resources are available in Missouri and across the United States:
- The Missouri Affordable Housing Locator is a service to help individuals find quality affordable rental housing in the state of Missouri, listing properties that are visited periodically by the Missouri Housing Development Commission for quality purposes.
- Beyond Housing, an organization seeking to provide support and services for low-income families, has a Housing Services Center to assist current and prospective homeowners throughout the St. Louis region in their efforts to acquire and maintain their homes. The Center holds online training sessions on Home Buyer Education in English and Spanish. In addition, those individuals facing foreclosure can work with a foreclosure prevention counselor after completing an intake questionnaire.
- HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research Case Studies Series highlights sustainable housing and community development projects and innovations from across the country. The revitalization of Old North St. Louis, Missouri: Crown Square Historic Rehabilitation was featured as part of the series.
- The Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness was formed to prevent and end homelessness by establishing strategies to promote public and private coordination and collaboration, developing new strategies to evaluate and reallocate resources, removing barriers to accessing services, evaluating unmet needs and providing supportive services, implementing effective solutions to build economic security, and promoting and supporting activities that prevent homelessness.
- The Missouri Housing Development Commission provides financing to developers of affordable housing, home mortgages to qualified first-time buyers, and advisory, consultative, training, and educational services to non-profit housing organizations.
- The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council funds the Missouri Inclusive Housing Development Corporation, providing information about safe, accessible, quality, affordable housing in Missouri for those with developmental disabilities.
- The Missouri Department of Mental Health Housing Unit provides information on fair housing for individuals with mental health issues.
- The Missouri Statewide Independent Living Council works to gather and disseminate information, conduct training on independent living issues, provide outreach to un-served and underserved populations, and work to expand and improve independent living services in the state. It also provides information specific to housing across Missouri.
- HUD has state-specific resources available on topics such as rental help, owning a home, and homelessness and also provides contact information for its local and regional offices.
- If you are a homeowner age 62 or older and have paid off your mortgage or paid it down a considerable amount and are currently living in your home, or if you wish to purchase a primary residence, you may be eligible to participate in the Federal Housing Administration's Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government.
- Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST provides information on Common Violations of the Fair Housing Act Design and Construction Requirements. The organization is supported by HUD and is an initiative designed to promote compliance with the Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements.
- For advice on buying a home, renting, default, foreclosure avoidance, credit issues, or reverse mortgages, search online for a housing counseling agency near you, or call HUD's interactive voice system at 800-569-4287.
- Making Home Affordable (MHA) is an important part of the federal government’s comprehensive plan to stabilize the housing market by helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure. MHA programs offer a range of solutions, including mortgage relief for the unemployed, reducing monthly mortgage payments, and refinancing to take advantage of lower interest rates.
- HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the federal government. For a list of agencies in Missouri, visit Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling.
April 24 is Holocaust Remembrance Day
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah.” This year, Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on Monday, April 24. Honor Holocaust Remembrance Day by exploring the following resources and state-wide events:
- Find national and local events by visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s online listings, or get tips for organizing your own remembrance event. Visit the student section for educational resources designed specifically for scholars. Obtain themed remembrance resources including poster sets, videos, essays, and power point presentations by visiting the USHMM site.
- Visit the Midwest Center For Holocaust Education to view teaching resources and to learn about Holocaust facts and misconceptions. An updated listing of remembrance events may be found at the MCHE site.
- Attend the Day of Remembrance - Remembering the Holocaust through Music and Art on April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Metropolitan Community College, Maple Woods Campus. For further information, email [email protected].
- The Second Generation Speakers Bureau will share Holocaust narratives from their parents to Kansas City Metro students on April 6 in the Social Hall at the Jewish Community Center, 5801 West 115 Street, Overland Park, Kansas. Catch the free film screening of Jealous of the Birds on April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Social Hall at the Jewish Community Center.
- The Holocaust Museum and Learning Center (HMLC) will offer exhibit Camera Combat: Signal Corps Images from WWII beginning on April 2, from 1 – 3 p.m., and continuing through May 2. HMLC will present How to Talk to Your Children about Anti-Semitism on April 30 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. For directions or additional details and events, visit online.
- Explore the Holocaust Remembrance Day exhibit on April 24 beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the Missouri State Capitol Rotunda, 201 West Capitol Avenue, Jefferson City. Visit the State Capital website to access the April events calendar.