Agency Spotlight: Fair Housing Law Center
In recognition of Fair Housing Month 2022, we are honored to highlight the Fair Housing Law Center. Located in Washington County, FHLC operates in 28 counties in Western Pennsylvania as well as four counties in West Virginia. Operated by Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid, FHLC has been a major asset to Pennsylvania since 2005. Their mission is to “identify and eliminate housing discrimination through education, advocacy, and enforcement efforts”.
FHLC works tirelessly to uphold the Fair Housing Act through a combination of education, training, and advocacy efforts. One of their well-known initiatives is their Tester Program. In this program, trained Fair Housing Testers measure landlords for discrimination by acting as renters who fall into a protected class. The testers complete reports, which are then reviewed by FHLC staff. Further action is taken against landlords as needed.
FHLC Deputy Director Jaime Milligan shared that complaints alleging discrimination because of disability continue to account for the largest number of complaints, at 54.56%. Discrimination based on disability is usually overt, making it easier to detect and more practical to file a complaint. In the last grant year, they successfully resolved 25 reasonable accommodation or modification cases, referred 7 reasonable accommodation/modification denials to either Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) or HUD, and filed one complaint in federal court. These numbers are a great reminder of both the prevalence of these discriminations as well as the need for the services that agencies such as FHLC provides.
For more information on the Fair Housing Law Center, including how to become a tester and how to report discrimination, check out their website at fhlaw.org or give them a call at 1-877-725-4472