Organizations Help People With Disabilities With Housing Rights

They are trying to inform them of their rights under The Fair Housing Act.

FARGO, N.D. – An event is trying to help people with disabilities know their rights.

In North Dakota, one of the biggest problems is discrimination against people with disabilities

We’re here at the Fargo Public library where two organizations are trying to advise people with disabilities to know their rights under the fair housing act.

That’s when organizations like the High Plains Fair Housing Center and the Freedom Resource Center for Independent Living, Inc. Come in..

“We help anybody with any disability live as independently as they can,” says Jerry Christiansen, the Accessibility Specialist at Freedom Resource Center for Independent Living.

The organization’s goal is to counsel and inform the disabled so they can be more knowledgeable when it comes to knowing their rights.

“We see people with reasonable accommodations who are denied, reasonable modifications, so someone who has a wheelchair and needs to, you know, have better access to their unit, someone who made need emotional support animals, and is not able to have an emotional support animal, those are the kind of denial of reasonable accommodation that we’ve seen,” says Michelle Rydz, the Executive Director of High Plains Fair Housing Center.

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance or engaging in other house–related activities.

It covers most housing, but in very limited circumstances, the act exempts owner–occupied buildings with no more than four units, single family houses sold or rented by the owner without the use of agent and housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

Organizers hope this event will bring more awareness in the community so that they are not so easily discriminated against.

According to its 2018 annual report, The High Plains Fair Housing Center received more than 300 calls regarding landlord/tenant issues. This year’s report will come out later this year.

Categories: Community, North Dakota News