Community Spotlight: Legal Aid Society- Housing and Reentry

TV20 is back with another episode of Community Spotlight as we continue our collaboration with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. This week’s episode focuses on housing and how reentry can affect finding a home.

Host Leah Haslage sat down with Maria Smith & Chloe Sudduth from the Legal Aid Society along with Kris Keniray from the Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research.


When it comes to housing, there are four distinct categories that they can be broken down to:

Private Housing
Conventional Public Housing
Voucher Program
Project Based Section 8 

While each housing type can be based off of level of neediness and income, all of them benefit from the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for landlords to  discriminate based on:

Race
Skin Color
National Origin
Religion
Sex
Familial Status (pregnant, in process of adoption, gaining custody)
Disability


Just because it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate based on the previous criteria, doesn’t mean that everyone knows their rights when it comes to fair housing.  One example of why it is important to know your rights is discrimination based on addiction. By law, an addict in recovery is considered to have a disability, so it is illegal for a landlord to deny housing based on that merit alone.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against when renting or buying a house, you can file a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development at their website, https://www.hud.gov/.

In addition, the Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research provides valuable information and assistance when it comes to dealing with potential housing discrimination. They can be reached at 216-361-9240 or at their website: TheHousingCenter.org

As always, to learn more about the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, you can go to their website, LASclev.org or call them at 216-687-1900

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