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April is "Fair Housing Education Month"

HONOLULU -- Today, Mayor Rick Blangiardi proclaimed April 2021 as Fair Housing Education Month. Together with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Hawai‚Äėi Civil Rights Commission, the Legal Aid Society of Hawai Ľi, the City and County of Honolulu and the three Neighbor Island counties will be conducting a Statewide Virtual Fair Housing Conference called "Fair Housing: More Than Just Words" via WebEx from 10:00 a.m. -- 12:00 noon every Thursday throughout the month. Space is limited to the first 1,000 applicants.

The training this year kicks off with a "Fair Housing 101" overview on April 1st that will provide participants with a basic understanding of the fair housing requirements and of the complaint and adjudication process. That basic session will be followed up with sessions on: "Fair Housing in the Times of COVID", covering landlord tenant relations and evictions; "Race, Color and National Origin: Fair Housing Protections Training"; "Fair Housing: Access and Safety", covering topics of Sex, Gender, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Familial Status, and HńĀnai Status; and conclude this year's training with a session on "Disability and the Fair Housing Act".

The people and groups this statewide virtual training is meant for include:

- Private Landlords;

- Realtors and Real Estate Agents;

- Attorneys dealing with Fair Housing

- Resident Managers and Property Managers

- Association of Apartment Owners and Master Planned Community Board Members

- Properties working with People with Disabilities

- Operational and Financing Departments and Agencies for State and City Shelters;

- Nonprofit organizations running shelters and permanent supportive housing

- Tenants interested in learning about their rights under fair housing laws

"Affordable housing and homelessness are key priorities in our administration," said Mayor Blangiardi. "Access to Fair Housing that does not discriminate or take sides is the foundation of those priorities. We are grateful to have the partnership and cooperation of our expert partners such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Hawai Ľi Civil Rights Commission and the Legal Aid Society of Hawai Ľi, all of whom have been part of Fair Housing training on O Ľahu for many years."

"This year's theme, "More Than Just Words" is so appropriate given the times," said Department of Community Services Director Sarah Allen. "Giving all persons fair and equal access to housing, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances is what the Spirit of Aloha and what we as a community are all about. Identifying certain behaviors, whether intentional or unintentional, that prevents, hinders or discriminates against that fair and equal access and what we need to do to correct those behaviors helps us all become better landlords, renters, seller, buyers and managers of property."

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