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NEWS Utah Labor Commission

April 26, 2010

Contact: Elena Bensor
Community Relations Manager
Phone: (801) 530-6918

Utah Labor Commission Celebrates Fair Housing Month

A landlord attempts to evict a blind tenant because she is worried about being sued if the tenant hurts herself. A lender refuses to give a loan to a highly qualified applicant who happens to be a single mother, but states that they will lend to her if a male co-signs the loan. Advertisements abound on the internet with provisions such as “Christian applicants only” or “No children allowed!” Each of these housing actions is illegal under the Fair Housing Act.

April marks the 42nd anniversary of the passing of the Fair Housing Act, which forbids discrimination in providing housing. Consequently, the month of April is celebrated every year as “Fair Housing Month.”

The Fair Housing Act was passed in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President Lyndon B. Johnson called on Congress to speedily pass fair housing legislation, calling it a fitting legacy to Dr. King and his life's work. A short seven days after the assassination of Dr. King, the Fair Housing Act was passed.

The Utah Labor Commission is proud to celebrate Fair Housing Month and is working to assure that fair housing law is enforced throughout Utah. Utah Fair Housing law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, or source of income. Stephanie Carrillo, investigator in the Fair Housing Unit of the Utah Antidiscrimination and Labor Division of the Utah Labor Commission said, “I am committed to make sure that The Fair Housing Act protects and assures that the people of Utah are given equal opportunity to rent or purchase a home based on their qualifications.”

In addition to investigating allegations of housing discrimination, the UALD also engages in educational and outreach programs for landlords, community groups, and business owners.

“I really think that educating housing providers and tenants is one of the most important functions of the UALD,” said Dan Singer, Fair Housing Manager. “Fair Housing Law is nuanced. It is important to let housing providers know what their rights and responsibilities are under the Acts. It’s also essential that prospective tenants and homeowners receive full consideration on the merits of their ability to rent or buy, not based on someone’s discriminatory point of view.”

As part of the Utah Labor Commission’s celebration of Fair Housing Month, it has provided free training to landlords on fair housing law. Additionally, the UALD will be participating in the Utah Housing Conference held on April 28, 2010 at the South Towne Expo Center. For more information about the Fair Housing laws, or to request free trainings, please contact the Utah Antidiscrimination & Labor Division at 801-530-6800, or visit our Fair Housing pages.