Dear Fair Housing Lady, I am wondering if there is anything new going on out there in the world of fair housing that we, as property management people, should be aware of or thinking about… Signed, Just Curious Dear JC: How wise to want to keep up on fair housing issues! As an industry, we should be aware and plan accordingly and not be blindsided. I recently had the opportunity to attend some continuing education at the John Marshall Law School/Fair Housing Legal Support Center & Clinic in Chicago Yes, even after all these years, Fair Housing Lady must still go to school (although I admit that I really do not mind that so much!) Attending class at JMLS provides me with the opportunity to see just how much government employees and advocates are committed (quite passionately) to fair housing law principles and enforcement. Bryan Greene, acting assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, has devoted his professional career to fighting housing discrimination. As a presenter, he was asked what his “wish list” might be. Keeping in mind that it is (at least for the moment) a wish list, let me share what I heard: Another presenter was Anne Houghtaling, executive dDirector of HOPE Fair Housing Center since 2011. She is an attorney who has worked in fair housing for over 20 years. She made the observation that “criminal background checks have nothing to do with safety at a community” (!). With the Supreme Court decision that disparate impact is a part of fair housing, I think that someone/some place will try to take on the issue of criminal background checks as having fair housing implications. In fact, we are hearing some rumblings to the effect – which should be cause for concern and a wake-up call to think about this issue. Forewarned is forearmed. Far better to look at these issues and see if and how we can perhaps adapt to the realities of today’s world, rather than having additional laws with which to deal. Now you have it; it will be interesting to see what might be “the rest of the story…” c

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