FHD | Fair Housing of the Dakotas

After receiving a Private Enforcement Initiative grant of $220,547.57 in 2007, the Fair Housing of the Dakotas (FHD) created this website. FHD planned to conduct fair housing enforcement, education, and outreach activities in North Dakota and South Dakota. Specifically, FHD conducted tests of rental housing providers and mortgage lenders for evidence of unlawful discrimination. They held 24 fair housing workshops on a range of topics, including accessibility and predatory lending and distributed 30,000 fair housing publications.

The website was live between 2008-2010. The domain then expired. When I discovered that it was available I bought it with the goal of recreating as much of its original content as possible from it’s archived pages. Even though the specific usefulness of the site as it was intended has ended, I felt much of the information was still relevant regarding housing discrimination and what can be done to ensure equal housing opportunities for all. As you view the content, look at it in relationship to its historical context as well as what is germane today.

I find historical information facinating. The other day I was on an online casino US site getting some information about the 2006 UIGEA laws. hTe UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was part of the SAFE Port Act that adversely affected both land based and online casino sites that permitted US players. As a result, most online gambling sites shut their doors to US players. The Department of Justice also decided to go after the companies (mainly the banks) that processed the casino payments to and from US players. The banksended up routinely blocking credit card transactions with the code 7995, merchant code that banks traditionally assigned online gaming operators. The same code that also covered lottery tickets, casino chips and racetrack wagers. It's amazing what has eveolved over the past decade regarding online gambling and the use of credit cards. Even some members of Congress introducing bills to legalize online poker nationally. Today there are loads of online casino sites that actively pursue US players.

Just as I enjoy searching for information about 2006 UIGEA laws and the changes that have occurred over the past decade, I feel there will be folks who would enjoy seeing the various changes that have occurred in housing discrimination in the Dakotas. I hope this revived site will give them some historical perspective.

For current information about fair housing in either South Dakota or North Dakota go to:

Fair Housing in North Dakota

Fair Housing South Dakota

Circa 2008-2010

The Fair Housing of the Dakotas (formerly the North Dakota Fair Housing Council) is a non-profit organization serving North and South Dakota.  The Fair Housing of the Dakotas (FHD) works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunities for all.  The FHD provides assistance to individuals pursuing legal rights and remedies related to fair housing, offers housing assistance and counseling, provides community education, promotes community involvement and performs research in the area of housing.

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale or financing of housing due to race, color, religion, national origin, gender (sex), presence of children (familial status) and disability (handicap).  North Dakota state law also protects due to age (40 and over) or status with respect to marriage and public assistance.  South Dakota state law protects most of the federal classes and also protects due to ancestry and creed. 

The Fair Housing of the Dakotas was originally founded in 1995 as the "North Dakota Fair Housing Council" to serve the State of North Dakota.  In 2003, the NDFHC received a grant to expand to the counties east of the Missouri River in South Dakota.  In 2004, services were expanded to include the entire State of South Dakota and its name was changed in 2005 to the "Fair Housing of the Dakotas" to reflect these duties in both North and South Dakota.  For more information on fair housing or the work of the FHD, choose one of the links above.

Contact Information:

Fair Housing of the Dakotas

909 Basin Avenue, Suite 2
Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone:  701-221-2530 | Toll-free: 1-888-265-0907 | Fax: 701-221-9597
ND Relay: 1-800-366-6889 (Voice) | SD Relay: 1-800-877-1113
ND TDD: 1-800-927-9275 | SD TDD: 1-866-273-3323
Email for Questions on Housing, Trainings, Publications, Etc.

Staff:

Executive Director: Kourtney Hollingsworth
Office Manager: Tracie Shaw

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What is Fair Housing?

 

Fair Housing Law

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale or financing of housing due to race, color, religion, national origin, gender (sex), presence of children (familial status) and disability (handicap).  North Dakota state law also protects due to age (40 and over) or status with respect to marriage and public assistance.  South Dakota state law protects most of the federal classes and also protects due to ancestry and creed.  

For information on North Dakota state human rights and housing discrimination laws, go to http://www.state.nd.us/labor/laws/

  To access the South Dakota Human Relations Act, go to http://legis.state.sd.us/statutes/Index.cfm?FuseAction=DisplayStatute&FindType=Statute&txtStatute=20-13<

The text of the Fair Housing Act can be accessed through the Legal Information Institute's web site or by going to:  http://www.fairhousing.com/index.cfm?method=page.display&pageid=605<

 

What are the signs?

  • The rent or deposit cited is higher than advertised.
  • The manager says the unit has already been rented but the sign or ad is still posted.
  • Rules are enforced or repairs are performed for some tenants and not others.
  • Limiting the number of children in a complex or confining them to a specific location or floor.
  • Charging a higher deposit to people of different national origins.
  • Refusing to rent to a person using a wheelchair for fear a unit might be damaged.

 

Counseling

Fair Housing Specialists at the Fair Housing of the Dakotas (FHD) are available to counsel both home seekers and housing providers on their rights and responsibilities under federal and state fair housing/civil rights laws.  Individuals pursuing their legal rights are provided assistance if appropriate.  To learn more about the Fair Housing of the Dakotas, please access our brochure.

Education and Enforcement

The FHD provides education and outreach services to industry representatives and consumers of the industry.  These activities include the facilitation of workshops and trainings, production/distribution of our quarterly newsletter, and networking with agencies and organizations across the state and nation.

The FHD also investigates allegations of discrimination in housing.  When you call the FHD with a complaint of discrimination, we will interview you to gather the necessary information for our investigation.  Be prepared to provide the address of the housing, the name of any persons involved, the names of any witnesses and the date of the incident.  The FHD will assist you in determining the best course of action.

Possible Remedies

Victims of discrimination may be compensated in several ways.  They may be able to get the housing they wanted or similar housing may be made available.  In some cases, a cash payment can be made to reimburse for expenses caused by having to find other housing and for damages such as pain and distress.

If you win a federal civil court lawsuit, the law may also allow you to receive punitive damages.

Those found guilty of discrimination may be assigned penalties and given direction on how to change their way of doing business.

Volunteers

The FHD needs a diverse group of dependable conscientious people 18 years and older to assist in gathering information about housing practices.

Volunteers are provided training and a small stipend for their time and expenses depending on the task completed.  Contact the FHD for additional information.

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2009 Upcoming Events

Fundamentals of Fair Housing Classes Scheduled:  We have begun setting training dates for the 2009 year.  The Fair Housing of the Dakotas (FHD) will again be hosting its series of "Fundamentals of Fair Housing" workshops in a number of communities in North and South Dakota.  Continuing education information is below.  All workshops are open to the public but registration is required.  Confirmed trainings are below:

 

  • April 21, 2009:  1:00-5:00 PM, Best Western Ramkota Hotel, 1400 8th Avenue, NW, Aberdeen, SD
  • April 23, 2009:  1:00-5:00 PM, Best Western Doublewood Inn, 1400 Interchange Avenue,Bismarck, ND.  
  • April 28, 2009:  1:00-5:00 PM, Hilton Garden Inn, 4301 James Ray Drive, Grand Forks, ND
  • June 18, 2009:  1:00-5:00 PM, Airport International Inn, 3601 2nd Avenue West, Williston, ND.   
  • June 23, 2009:  1:00-5:00 PM, Best Western Ramkota Hotel, 3200 West Maple Street, Sioux Falls, SD.  

Save the date for other trainings.  The following dates are tentative and may change.  Will be confirmed in May, 2009.  Watch this page or our newsletter for updates.

  • August 5, 2009:  Minot, ND
  • August 13, 2009:  Pierre, SD
  • August 20, 2009:  Fargo, ND
  • September 9, 2009:  Rapid City, SD

The "Fundamentals of Fair Housing" workshops above have been approved for the following continuing education credits:

  • North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners:  The Fair Housing of the Dakotas is a approved as a provider for continuing education credits through March 23, 2010 by the North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners.  Provider No. 91.  Social workers will receive 3.5 contact hours for the ND workshops.
  • North Dakota Commission for Continuing Legal Education:  Approved for 3.75 CLE credit hours for 2009 courses.
  • North Dakota Real Estate Commission:  Approved for 4 continuing education credits for the ND workshops.  Course Number CE08-031.  Approved through December, 2009.  Please note that per the North Dakota Real Estate Commission, those who attended and received this credit in 2008 are not eligible to receive credit in 2009.
  • South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners:  The Fair Housing of the Dakotas is approved as a provider for continuing education credits through the South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners, 135 East Illinois, Suite 14, Spearfish, SD 57783. Social workers will receive 3.75 contact hours for the SD workshops.  Provider No. 1006.  Approved through December, 2009.
  • South Dakota Department of Revenue & Regulation:  Approved for 3.75 classroom hours through April 16, 2012.  Course No. SD 526 CE.
  • South Dakota Real Estate Commission:  Approved for 4 continuing education credits for the South Dakota workshops.  Course Number 2673R3.512.

Check back for any updates or changes.  Please contact the Fair Housing of the Dakotas if you have any questions or need more information.

 

FHD FLYER

FUNDAMENTALS OF FAIR HOUSING FOR MAINTENANCE EMPLOYEES

October 21, 2008 from 10:00 am—Noon
Best Western Ramkota Hotel, 3200 West Maple Street
Sioux Falls, SD

Program: Based upon requests from the public, the Fair Housing of the Dakotas introduces a new class specifically designed for maintenance employees of multifamily housing properties. It is illegal in South Dakota to discriminate

in the rental, sale or financing of housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status (presence of children), disability, creed and/or ancestry. This 2-hour program will cover the basics of the Federal Fair Housing Act, any state laws on housing discrimination and will include specific cases and situations of interest to maintenance employees. Attendance is free but advance registration is required to ensure adequate seating and materials. Hand-Outs: Take home materials will be provided. Materials available in alternative formats upon request.

Agenda:

Fair Housing Laws Examples of Housing Discrimination and Case Law
Exemptions
Providing Maintenance Services  Laws What Happens when a Housing
Discrimination Complaint is Filed
Other Related Areas

Sponsor: The Fair Housing of the Dakotas (FHD) is a non-profit organization

serving North and South Dakota who works to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunities for all. This training is sponsored by the FHD which has received a grant from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development to provide educational opportunities  on the Federal Fair Housing Law.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Fair Housing of the Dakotas
Phone: 701-221-2530
Toll-free: 1-888-265-0907
SD TDD: 1-866-273-3323
SD Relay: 1-800-877-1113 (Voice)
Email: info@fhdakotas.org
Web: www.fhdakotas.org

Notice: The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretation does not necessarily reflect the views of the government. Disability Related Accommodations:

Please contact us if any disability related accommodations are needed.

FHDakotas.org