On April 7, more than 100 people attended the 2017 Arizona Fair Housing Symposium to learn from and ask questions of local fair housing experts.

The event began with an overview of the Arizona Fair Housing Act by Stan Silas, Esq., an attorney with Community Legal Services. Then Ellen Sue Katz, director at the William E. Morris Institute for Justice explained “Ban the Box” policies that seek to prohibit “have you been arrested or convicted of a crime” checkboxes on employment applications.

A panel discussion with Kirstin Eidenbach, executive director, ATLaS Justice Center; Denise Holliday, Esq., Hull, Holliday & Holliday, PLC and Sharon Shore, chief programs officer at HOM delved in to HUD’s guidelines and statistics regarding housing for people with criminal records.

Steve Kilar, communications director for ACLU of Arizona, addressed so-called nuisance laws passed by cities that pressure landlords to evict tenants for making more than four 911 calls per month. This law has obvious repercussions on domestic violence victims.

A second panel featured Laura Guild, domestic violence program manager for the Arizona Department of Economic Security; Julie Peterson, director of children and youth services at Sojourner Center; Shannon Schell, director of public policy for the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, and Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl. They discussed the importance of safe housing for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

Arizona REALTOR® Brad Speck, a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals network, presented LGBTQ housing discrimination statistics before another panel reviewed fair housing issues facing that community.

All panels stressed the importance of education and acceptance along with vigilant monitoring of law and policy. Resources referred to throughout the day will become available at ArizonaFairHousing.org.

Arizona REALTORS® is a proud member of the Fair Housing Partnership and co-sponsored the symposium.

Additional resource:
April is Fair Housing Month – NAR.realtor
Fair Housing Articles – AARonline.com
Fair Housing: It’s Your Right – HUD.gov

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