EQUAL RIGHTS CENTER RELEASES ONLINE COURSE FOR HOUSING PROVIDERS ABOUT WASHINGTON, D.C. FAIR HOUSING LAWS
Washington, D.C.—April 29th, 2019—Today, the Equal Rights Center (ERC), a national nonprofit civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C, released a new online learning course about applicable fair housing laws in Washington, D.C. The interactive course, Washington, D.C. Fair Housing Laws for Housing Providers, explains best practices for complying with the many unique local protections and laws in the District. These include protected classes like source of income and status as a victim of an intra-family offense under the D.C. Human Rights Act, details about how local occupancy codes intersect with fair housing requirements, and requirements for criminal records screening. The course is available on the ERC website for $55 per person.
The course is divided into six modules that are interactive and easy to understand. It also features interviews with national and local fair housing experts, who speak about domestic violence and occupancy codes as they relate to fair housing. The course is designed to be completed in approximately 1.5 hours.
For the past few years, the ERC has been monitoring online housing advertisements in the District and have noticed that despite the existence of fair housing laws, housing providers continue to post ads with potentially illegal discriminatory language. For example, some ads explicitly state that a property does not accept housing vouchers, which is illegal according to local fair housing laws.
In response to the frequent discriminatory ads, the ERC decided to develop this course about fair housing laws in the District. The District is unique in that it has 11 fair housing-related laws and protected classes, many of which reach beyond the federal Fair Housing Act’s scope. Many housing providers operating locally are unaware of the specific laws and best practices for complying with them.
“We hope that housing providers in Washington, D.C., take advantage of this course to stay up-to-date with their obligation to ensure that everyone, regardless of protected class, receives equal treatment when looking for housing,” says Kate Scott, ERC Deputy Director.
Deputy Director, Equal Rights Center
ABOUT THE EQUAL RIGHTS CENTER: The ERC is a civil rights organization that identifies and seeks to eliminate unlawful and unfair discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations in its home community of Greater Washington DC and nationwide. The ERC’s core strategy for identifying unlawful and unfair discrimination is civil rights testing. When the ERC identifies discrimination, it seeks to eliminate it through the use of testing data to educate the public and business community, support policy advocacy, conduct compliance testing and training, and, if necessary, take enforcement action. For more information, please visit www.equalrightscenter.org.