Division of
Human and Civil Rights

Annual Fair Housing Conference

2019 Fair Housing Summit poster celebrating 50 Years when DE passed a law against housing discrimination

April 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the passage of Delaware’s Fair Housing Act into law. Yet, much work remains to make the goals of the law a reality for all.

Our 2019 Fair Housing Conference focused on critical topics in fair housing today and featured panel discussions and presentations by experts in the field.

Session topics included:

Confronting the Section 8 Stigma

Housing costs are increasing faster than wages, yet people with housing vouchers face discrimination and an unfair stigma.  Alison Bell, Senior Policy Analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Megan Haberle, Deputy Director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, and Noah Patton, Policy Associate at Maryland’s Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc., presented ideas and solutions in  Stigma of Section 8 

Unsafe at Home

Sexual harassment is illegal and the focus of vigorous new HUD enforcement.  Other forms of harassment at home can be discriminatory under Fair Housing laws.   Michelle Aronowitz, civil rights attorney and former Deputy General Counsel for Enforcement and Fair Housing at HUD, presented  Unsafe at Home Illegal Harassment Under the Fair Housing Act

Criminal Records Screening: How Far Back is Too Far?

Unreasonable criminal background screening policies can deny a home to people returning from incarceration. Some policies may be unintentionally discriminatory. Elayne Weiss, Senior Policy Analyst at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Haneef Salaam, In-reach Coordinator at the Wilmington HOPE Commission, and David C. Zerbato, Esq., partner at Morton, Valihura & Zerbato, LLC,  presented Barriers to Housing for People Returning from Incarceration

Immigration Status and Fair Housing Rights

Discrimination on the basis of a person’s national origin is illegal under  federal and state Fair Housing laws. Immigrants who suffer discrimination often fear reporting these illegal acts. Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, coordinator of the DE Civil Rights Coalition and co-Chair of the DE Hispanic Commission, and Pamela A. Stampp, Esq., head of the immigration department at The Castro Firm, presented Immigration Status and Rights in Fair Housing

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