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April is Fair Housing Month!

Celebrate home and community with CVOEO’s Fair Housing Project.

Where we live matters – it’s connected to how we get to work, access healthcare, where our children go to school, and our physical environment. Stable, safe, and affordable homes provide the foundation for vibrant and thriving communities and there is a strong correlation between housing opportunity and health disparities, especially for people of color and others who experience discrimination. This has been especially relevant during the pandemic.

Join us during the month of April for free online public education and art events, including workshops, community discussions, library events, and the all-ages HeART & Home Community Art Project. These activities highlight the importance of equal access to housing, free from discrimination, and celebrate the 1968 passage of the Federal Fair Housing Act. April Fair Housing Month is presented by the Fair Housing Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) and statewide partners.

This year’s events include:

·       FAIR HOUSING MONTH KICK OFF: 12:30pm Friday, April 1. Join us to learn about activities and events around the state, including the HeART & Home Community Art Project, online workshops, community discussions, library events, and more. Held via Facebook live at www.facebook.com/thrivingcommunitiesvt  and on Zoom https://tinyurl.com/FHMkickoffApril1.

·       FAIR HOUSING FRIDAYS: A series of informational discussions on topics such as Equity and Choice in Vermont Housing, Racial Discrimination in Housing and Community Impacts, and the Changing Realities of Vermont’s Housing Landscape after COVID. (12:30pm Fridays via Zoom and Facebook live with recordings available for later viewing.)

·       WORKSHOPS & TRAININGS: This series of educational events includes opportunities for the general public, landlords, and municipal officials to learn about fair housing rights and responsibilities and discuss issues related to harassment and hate crimes. Presented by CVOEO, Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Human Rights Commission, Vermont Landlord Association, VT Department of Housing and Community Development, and U.S. Attorney’s Office of Vermont.

·       LIBRARY ACTIVITIES: Libraries around the state are holding book discussions, StoryWalks®, HeART & Home art activities, and other community events. See book lists and resources here: https://libraries.vermont.gov/fairhousing2021

·       HeART & HOME COMMUNITY ART PROJECT: It’s easy to join this all-ages art project! 1) Download creative prompts at www.fairhousingmonthvt.org/community-art-project ; 2) Create a drawing, collage, painting, photo, sculpture, comic, video, or any other type of art; and 3) Share a photo of your creation at www.facebook.com/HeARTandHomeVT or email to fhp@cvoeo.org. Free art kits are available for libraries, community groups, and housing sites and participants and community members are invited to join the April 29 online Artist Reception.

The full schedule of events with registration links is available at https://fairhousingmonthvt.org/event-calendar. For more information, call 802-660-3456 x 106 or email fhp@cvoeo.org.

Fair Housing is the right to equal opportunity in housing choice and the right to rent or buy a dwelling free from discrimination. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and family status. Vermont has additional protections based on age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, receipt of public assistance, being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and denial of development permitting based on the income of prospective residents. For more information about fair housing in Vermont, visit www.cvoeo.org/FHP.

**Thanks to Jess Hyman, VAHC Steering Committee Vice Chair and Director of the The Fair Housing Project of CVOEO for this post.**

The Fair Housing Project coordinates April Fair Housing Month activities in collaboration with Vermont Department of Libraries, Vermont Library Association, ONE Arts Center, Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Human Rights Commission, VT Department of Housing and Community Development, and other partners. These activities are made possible with the support of the Champions of Affordable Inclusive Housing and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Library activities are supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, through the Library Service and Technology Act as administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries.

#AdvocacyandPolicy #AffordableHousing #FairHousing #Vermont

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