You may have noticed recently that the city is hanging banners from the downtown light posts announcing that April is Fair Housing Month. The Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson on April 11, 1968, included the Fair Housing Act also known as Title VIII. This law prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, and (as amended) disability and family status.
At the Trustee’s Office we assist Wayne Township clients in obtaining or maintaining appropriate shelter by assessing the most “economical and practical” method of relieving the applicant’s emergency need situation.
Our staff reviews an applicant’s request for shelter assistance in detail. This includes reviewing a budget submitted by the client. In many cases an applicant’s shelter expense exceeds their income capacity. Simply stated, the client is struggling to maintain regular shelter payments when their costs go up or when he or she has had a loss or decrease in income for various reasons.
These days rents and shelter costs are rising particularly fast causing more and more people to have trouble finding affordable housing. Some may wish to blame this problem on those owners who rent out their properties, but the problem is more a function of the marketplace than it is of individual landlords.
Most landlords who do business with Wayne Township show that they have a sense of fairness in dealing with renters, and most everyone believes in fair housing and in the idea that all individuals regardless of their race, color, national origin disability, gender and family status deserve equal access to rental housing and home ownership opportunities.
In fact, while researching Fair Housing Month the websites we found with the most useful information on the topic were realtor sites. That indicates that professionals in the field really are concerned about doing the right thing.
Whether you are a landlord, a realtor, or in the market for a home and you have questions or concerns about fair housing, we encourage you to contact Metropolitan Human Relations Commission in Fort Wayne for more detailed and technical information on fair housing.
Public housing provides decent and safe rentals for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. There are several websites of agencies that provide information for those seeking public housing. The Veteran’s Administration, Brightpoint, and Fort Wayne Housing Authority assist clients with Section 8, Housing Vouchers, Section 42-Tax Credit Properties as well as other shelter needs.
We encourage all individuals to take advantage of the resources in our community to ensure that their housing needs are met. Here at Wayne Township we will continue giving the best service possible to provide affordable shelter assistance to eligible clients.