Commission Presents 2007 Fair Housing Summit

Community Event to Address Fair Housing Issues

The Florida Commission on Human Relations and partners are offering a free and unique

opportunity for Escambia County community members and housing professionals.

Pensacola – In honor of Fair Housing Month, national, state and local agencies are partnering to provide the Escambia County community with important information on fair housing laws and to examine current housing issues in the area. This free seminar will be held Wednesday, April 18, from 8:30 a.m. until noon .

The seminar, entitled Fair Housing-It’s not an option, it’s the law; is presented by the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), Legal Services of North Florida, Inc., the City of Pensacola and the Escambia Pensacola Human Relations Commission. The event will take place at The Pensacola Association of Realtors (107 West Main Street, Pensacola, FL 32502).

Derick Daniel, Executive Director of the Commission, says, “Having a solid understanding of fair housing issues and laws is extremely important for everyone; from renters and owners to landlords and realtors. If you don’t understand your rights and responsibilities, you could become a victim of discrimination or end up breaking a law without even realizing it.”

Government agencies received the highest number of housing discrimination complaints ever filed in a single year in 2006 with 10,328, (2006 annual fair housing report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)).

Daniel says, “We feel that education and open dialogue is key to preventing unlawful, discriminatory activities from occurring. We are very pleased to be here today with our partners to educate the public and ensure that the local housing issues facing Escambia County are brought to the forefront and addressed.”

The seminar, sponsored in part by a grant from HUD, is designed to enlighten the community on these issues. Homeowners, home renters, community advocates, realtors, real estate agents and property management representatives are all encouraged to attend.

The Florida Commission on Human Relations is the state agency charged with enforcing the Florida Civil Rights Act and Fair Housing Act. The mission of the FCHR is to prevent unlawful discrimination by ensuring people in Florida are treated fairly and are given access to opportunities in employment, housing and certain public accommodations and to promote mutual respect among groups through education and community partnerships.

Fair treatment, equal access and mutual respect are the benchmarks of the Commission’s commitment. The Commission works to foster tolerance and understanding in communities statewide.