Enforcement of fair housing laws serves a number of purposes, including compensating victims, detecting discrimination, and deterring future acts of discrimination.
Systemic and Complaint Based Discrimination Testing
Detection is an important component of any entity’s fair housing program, as individuals may not always know when they have been discriminated against. (For example, if a potential renter with children is told that there are no apartments available, without more information she might not know whether that statement is true or whether the owner is illegally denying her a housing opportunity because the owner does not want to rent to a family with children.) As such, the Housing Center recommends that systematic testing be done both to detect instances of discrimination as well as to deter future such acts.
The Housing Center conducts systemic and complaint based testing for housing discrimination in the housing rentals and sales markets, as well as in the provision of homeowner’s insurance and mortgage lending. The Housing Center’s testing program uses trained testers who conduct matched pair testing using HUD-approved testing guidelines.
Assistance to victims of discrimination
Filing a fair housing complaint can feel like a complicated process. The Housing Center assists victims in the administrative complaint process. As a result of cases filed by the Housing Center, over $125,000 has been generated in conciliation agreements, civil penalties and affirmative action agreements with individual housing providers throughout Greater Cleveland.