REALTOR® Rally at the Capitol 2015

 REALTOR® RALLY at the CAPITOL

Wednesday, APRIL 8, 2015

FREE! Includes:

1.5 hours of CE credit & lunch!

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.      Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.MISSION MILL Spinning Room

 

1313 Mill Street SE

        Salem, OR 97301            

 

 

Join over 500 of your colleagues from around the State on the Capitol grounds in Salem to stand up for real estate industry issues for yourself AND your clients. Hear presentations on OAR’s legislative agenda and then meet and mingle with your legislators during a BBQ lunch and small group appointments. Let’s have a real show of force by getting as many REALTORS® to participate as possible!

 

REGISTER ONLINE:www.oregonrealtors.org/rally

 

 

The first 60 SAR members that RSVP to the May General Membership Meeting, showing their Realtor® Rally name badge (proof of attendance), will not be charged for the May meeting!

 

Complimentary Shuttles will be available between Mission Mill and the Oregon State Capitol. 
9:00 – 10:00 amRegistration 10:00 – 10:30 am

Welcoming Remarks & 2015/16 Legislative Highlights

Oregon’s top political consultants and legislative leadership will share an insider’s perspective and highlight key issues for the 2015 Legislative Session.

10:30 – 11:30 am

Legislative Issues Briefing

How will Key legislative issues impact Oregon’s housing market? Take time to learn the top legislative opportunities and threats to help strengthen and protect the dream of homeownership.

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Capitol BBQ Lunch

Join your colleagues and members of the 78th Oregon Legislative Assembly for a complimentary barbecue lunch at the Oregon State Capitol.

1:00 – 4:00 pm

Constituent Meetings with Legislators

Share your expertise on the local housing market. This is your opportunity to show your commitment to preserving housing opportunities in your community.

Options for Tenant Screening w/o an SSN

Screening without Social Security Numbers: There are Options!
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Guest Blogger:  Jo Becker
Education/Outreach Specialist
Fair Housing Council of Oregon

FHCO often receives questions from both housing consumers and housing providers about tenant screening for applicants who do not have a Social Security number (SSN).  With President Obama’s immigration action, approximately 4 million U.S. residents who are currently undocumented will have the opportunity to apply for work permits and SSNs. The campaign around Measure 88 (the “driver card” measure) also brought discussions of immigration in Oregon to the forefront last this fall.

Whatever your personal political position is on these recent events, the fact remains that many Oregon housing seekers do not have an SSN, and many will still not even when the President’s programs are activated.  The fact is that the Fair Housing Act and Oregon anti-discrimination law[1] apply to everyone present in the US, regardless of immigration status.

FHCO recognizes the importance of thorough tenant screening. Did you know that criminal history information can be acquired without an SSN and, of course, current and past landlords can provide rental history and references?  Applicants may be able to provide other information such as proof of “x” number of recent months’ paid utility bills, rent, or other regular monthly bills that can show a pattern of timely payment.

Individuals who do not qualify for an SSN may often have an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). This number allows for reporting to the IRS and in some cases for opening other accounts. After having consulted with screening companies and the credit bureaus, it does not appear that this will allow a credit report to be pulled in the same way that an SSN does.

What we suggest when an applicant has no SSN is to say “show me what you can” rather than a flat “no.”  At that point, your screening company should be able to give you an informed estimate about how much time and money an evaluation could cost.  Costs may vary so shop your screening company.  Once you have a cost estimate, inform the consumer and, if you wish and do so consistently, you may then pass this cost on to them if they want to continue with the application.

NOTE:  This is a deviation from official FHCO opinion in the past that higher costs for manual screening without a SSN should not be passed on to the applicant. At this point there isn’t local or federal case law to provide guidance; however, we feel our current position is a reasonable balance between consumers’ rights and housing providers’ concerns.  Case law has well established that it is inappropriate and illegal for a housing provider to charge someone to have an assistance animal, or a change to a guest policy to have a caregiver visit however many days a week, etc.  With respect to screening a tenant without SSN; however, we are not talking about a disability-related modification / accommodation.

It is still our position that a refusal to review alternative documentation when a SSN is not available will have a negative and disparate impact on individuals whose national origin is not the US, thereby having a disparate impact on that protected class.  Therefore, a policy or practice of not accepting applicants because they do not have a SSN is not appropriate.  That said, we feel that passing on actual additional costs of screening in a situation like this as a legitimate business expense that could be passed on to the applicant.

It should be noted that we never recommend folks (whether they are immigrants or not) lie or use a false identification number.  If applicants provide false information, they risk denial (or eviction) on the basis of having lied on the application.

Technologies are changing, as are bank and lender policies, and it is important to be open to the opportunities that this may present for improved screening of individuals without SSNs.  A presumption that those without a social security number cannot use a bank or get certain loans or credit cards is incorrect.  There are both large national banks and smaller community credit unions that work with these individuals.  Additionally, individuals without a SSN are able to request a copy of their own credit report through Experian (one of three main credit bureaus).  Experian will attempt to use data points such as name, date of birth, current and last addresses, and any transactions with an ITIN, to provide the individual with a report.  The individual can then present this to a prospective landlord who is willing to accept a self-requested report.

Housing providers need to be careful, too, of assumptions about household make-up based on race or national origin.  If a landlord has a problem with residents who do not comply with the rental contract, they should deal with that appropriately under landlord / tenant law.  Landlords should not assume “certain kinds of people” have larger or extended families that will exceed reasonable occupancy policies, or be louder or cause greater damage to the property than other households, etc. and base their rental decisions on such assumptions.  Landlords should, instead, set reasonable occupancy standards (http://www.fhco.org/occupancy.htm) and enforce them equally across all of their units with all applicants and tenants.  Landlords should not presume “those people” (insert any protected class you wish) would necessarily behave inappropriately or violate contract terms.  Enforcement of rules should be consistent, based on the behavior the housing provider is concerned about and, when the rules are violated, the situations should be handled consistently.

We will continue to consult with other fair housing organizations and industry groups to assure we remain confident that our position on non-SSN-screening is reasonable.

If you have questions about a situation you have encountered, please consider us a resource and contact us!   Start on our website at www.FHCO.org/national_origin.htm, as well as www.FHCO.org/hs_provider_info.htm.

 

This article brought to you by the Fair Housing Council; a civil rights organization.  All rights reserved © 2015. Write jbecker@FHCO.org to reprint articles or inquire about ongoing content for your own publication.

To learn more…  Learn more about fair housing and / or sign up for our free, periodic newsletter at www.FHCO.org.

Qs about this article?  ‘Interested in articles for your company or trade association?  Contact Jo Becker at jbecker@FHCO.org or 800/424-3247 Ext. 150

Want to schedule an in-office fair housing training program or speaker for corporate or association functions?  Visit www.FHCO.org/pdfs/classlist.pdf

[1]   Federally protected classes under the Fair Housing Act include:  race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (children), and disability.  Oregon law also protects marital status, source of income, sexual orientation, and domestic violence survivors.  Additional protected classes have been added in particular geographic areas; visit FHCO.org/mission.htm and read the section entitled “View Local Protected Classes” for more information.

Fair Housing and Assistance Animals

Assistance Animals 101

Guest Blogger:
Jo Becker, Education/Outreach Specialist,
Fair Housing Council of Oregon
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It doesn’t seem to matter how many articles we write, classes we teach, presentations we give, guidebooks we publish, or videos we make and post, no matter where we are or what we’re doing Fair Housing Council staff always get questions about assistance animals.  Some inquiries can get complicated but, to be honest, many of them are the same fundamental questions.

We offer the following article as both an introduction to those the topic may be new to / refresher for those who are somewhat familiar, as well as a reminder on the differences between the Fair Housing Act (FHA)[1] and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) per the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

A relatively recent document issued by HUD clearly affirms standard fair housing advice on the requirements to accommodate assistance animals in housing under the FHA, which is quite different than ADA requirements.  The 2013 HUD memo., in no uncertain terms, lays out the differences and assures readers that changes in the ADA’s definition of “service animals” has absolutely no affect on assistance animals under the FHA.

Following are a few excerpts from the memo.; the full document can be viewed at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=servanimals_ntcfheo2013-01.pdf.  (Emphases below have been added)

This notice explains certain obligations of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (FHAct), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with respect to animals that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities.

The Department of Justice’s (DOT) amendments to its regulations’ for Titles II and III of the ADA limit the definition of “service animal” under the ADA to include only dogs, and further define “service animal” to exclude emotional support animals. This definition, however, does not limit housing providers’ obligations to make reasonable accommodations for assistance animals under the FHAct or Section 504.

Persons with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation for any assistance animal, including an emotional support animal, under both the FHAct and Section 504.

An assistance animal is not a pet. It is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.  Assistance animals perform many disability-related functions, including but not limited to, guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, providing protection or rescue assistance, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items, alerting persons to impending seizures, or providing emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability-related need for such support.

For purposes of reasonable accommodation requests, neither the FHAct nor Section 504 requires an assistance animal to be individually trained or certified.

While dogs are the most common type of assistance animal, other animals can also be assistance animals.

Housing providers are to evaluate a request for a reasonable accommodation to possess an assistance animal in a dwelling using the general principles applicable to all reasonable accommodation requests. After receiving such a request, the housing provider must consider the following:

  • Does the person seeking to use and live with the animal have a disability — i.e., a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities?
  • Does the person making the request have a disability-related need for an assistance animal?

Where the answers to questions (1) and (2) are “yes,” the FHAct and Section 504 require the housing provider to modify or provide an exception to a “no pets” rule or policy to permit a person with a disability to live with and use an assistance animal(s) in all areas of the premises where persons are normally allowed to go, unless doing so would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing provider’s services.  If the answer… is “no,” then the… request may be denied.  <Requests> may also be denied if:

  • the specific assistance animal in question poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation, or
  • the specific assistance animal in question would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.

A determination that an assistance animal poses a direct threat of harm to others or would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others must be based on an individualized assessment that relies on objective evidence about the specific animal’s actual conduct — not on mere speculation or fear about the types of harm or damage an animal may cause and not on evidence about harm or damage that other animals have caused.

Conditions and restrictions that housing providers apply to pets may not be applied to assistance animals.  For example, while housing providers may require applicants or residents to pay a pet deposit, they may not require applicants and residents to pay a deposit for an assistance animal.  <In addition,> breed, size, and weight limitations may not be applied to an assistance animal.

Housing providers may ask individuals who have disabilities that are not readily apparent or known to the provider <or if the need for the assistance animal is not apparent> to submit reliable documentation of a disability and their disability-related need for an assistance animal.  For example, the housing provider may ask persons who are seeking a reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal that provides emotional support to provide documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional that the animal provides emotional support that alleviates one or more of the identified symptoms or effects of an existing disability. Such documentation is sufficient if it establishes that an individual has a disability and that the animal in question will provide some type of disability-related assistance or emotional support.  <NOTE:  Case law tells us that such verification does not necessarily need to come from a medical provider.  In truth, a family member or the individual him/herself may act as the verifier in some situations, though is not particularly common.>

So, what about the ADA?  Do you have obligations under it, as well, as a housing provider?  Maybe…

Certain entities will be subject to both the service animal requirements of the ADA and the reasonable accommodation provisions of the FHAct and/or Section 504. These entities include, but are not limited to, public housing agencies and some places of public accommodation, such as rental offices, shelters, residential homes, some types of multifamily housing, assisted living facilities, and housing at places of education. Covered entities must ensure compliance with all relevant civil rights laws.

The preambles to DOJ’s 2010 Title II and Title III ADA regulations state that public entities or public accommodations that operate housing facilities “may not use the ADA definition [of “service animal”] as a justification for reducing their FHAct obligations.”  <The preamble further indicates that> under the FHAct, “an individual with a disability may have the right to have an animal other than a dog in his or her home if the animal qualifies as a ‘reasonable accommodation’ that is necessary to afford the individual equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, assuming that the use of the animal does not pose a direct threat.”  In addition,… emotional support animals that do not qualify as service animals under the ADA may “nevertheless qualify as permitted reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities under the FHAct.” While the preambles expressly mention only the FHAct, the same analysis applies to Section 504.

DOJ’s revised ADA regulations define “service animal” narrowly as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The revised regulations specify that “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.” Thus, trained dogs are the only species of animal that may qualify as service animals under the ADA <not the FHA> (there is a separate provision regarding trained miniature horses), and emotional support animals are expressly precluded from qualifying service animals under the ADA <not the FHA>.

The ADA definition of “service animal” applies to state and local government programs, services activities, and facilities and to public accommodations, such as leasing offices, social service center establishments, universities, and other places of education.

<Under the ADA the> animal may not be denied access to the ADA-covered facility unless:

  • the animal is out of control and its handler does not take effective action to control it;
  • the animal is not housebroken (i.e., trained so that, absent illness or accident, the animal controls its waste elimination); or
  • the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by a reasonable modification to other policies, practices and procedures. A determination that a service animal poses a direct threat must be based on an individualized assessment of the specific service animal’s actual conduct — not on fears, stereotypes, or generalizations. The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the facility where members of the public are normally allowed to go.

<NOTE:  In all ways related to disability-related animals, the FHA is more liberal than the ADA.  If DOJ stipulates the above items for “service animals” under the ADA, than you can be fairly certain that they are – at a minimum – what would be considered reasonable for assistance animals under the FHA.>

In cases where all three statutes apply…. the housing provider should apply the ADA service animal test first. This is because <under the ADA, not the FHA> the covered entity may ask only whether the animal is a service animal that is required because of a disability, and if so, what work or tasks the animal has been trained to perform. If the animal meets the test for “service animal,” the animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the facility where persons are normally allowed to go, unless <see points (1), (2), and (3) above>.  If the animal does not meet the ADA service animal test, then the housing provider must evaluate the request in accordance with the guidance provided in Section I of this notice.  <Note that compliance> with the FHAct and Section 504 does not ensure compliance with the ADA. Similarly, compliance with the ADA’s regulations does not ensure compliance with the FHAct or Section 504… It is the housing provider’s responsibility to know the applicable laws and comply with each of them.

For yet more information on this topic including other memos from HUD, previous FHCO articles, sample accommodation / modification forms, and other guidance visit:

  • FHCO.org/disability.htm,
  • FHCO.org/assistanceanimals.htm,
  • FHCO.org/guidebooks.htm,
  • FHCO.org/forms.htm.

This article brought to you by the Fair Housing Council; a civil rights organization.  All rights reserved © 2015. Write jbecker@FHCO.org to reprint articles or inquire about ongoing content for your own publication.

To learn more…  Learn more about fair housing and / or sign up for our free, periodic newsletter at www.FHCO.org.

Qs about this article?  ‘Interested in articles for your company or trade association?  Contact Jo Becker at jbecker@FHCO.org or 800/424-3247 Ext. 150

Want to schedule an in-office fair housing training program or speaker for corporate or association functions?  Visit www.FHCO.org/pdfs/classlist.pdf

[1]   Federally protected classes under the Fair Housing Act include:  race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (children), and disability.  Oregon law also protects marital status, source of income, sexual orientation, and domestic violence survivors.  Additional protected classes have been added in particular geographic areas; visit FHCO.org/mission.htm and read the section entitled “View Local Protected Classes” for more information.

Fair Housing Enforcement: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know

Fair Housing enforcement
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Guest blogger Jo Becker, Education/Outreach Specialist, Fair Housing Council of Oregon

When I’m out in the field teaching fair housing classes I’m often asked what the consequences of a fair housing violation is.  Following is a primer on the subject.  You can get a visual perspective on the process by viewing our Enforcement Flow Chart at www.FHCO.org/pdfs/EnfFlowChart.pdf but following is a more detailed outline.

The federal Fair Housing Act makes any denial of or differential treatment in housing based on the following protected classes illegal:  race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (children) and disability.  Oregon law also prohibits discrimination based on marital status, (legal) source of income (including, now Section 8 and other housing subsidies), and sexual orientation and gender identity.  (Visit FHCO.org for further information on the area you live or own properties.)

It should be noted that one need not intend to discriminate for their words, actions, or advertising to have an illegally discriminatory affect.  That is, affect not intention is the barometer in a fair housing case.

 How is the Fair Housing Act Enforced?

Often the Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) is the first line of defense. We receive fair housing-related inquiries and complaints from across the state.  Each call is processed and assistance provided whenever and wherever possible.  We offer information and referral to appropriate resources if an inquiry is not related to fair housing.

As a private nonprofit, we serve as a fair housing resource in Oregon but we are not an enforcement agency, per se.  If an inquiry appears to be a bona fide allegation of fair housing discrimination, we assist in whatever way the inquirer desires.  We might help mediate the issue or contact the housing provider to advocate on the individual’s behalf; we may help the victim file a formal complaint or conduct an investigation using witness interviews, testing, etc.

Testing is a nationally recognized and court-tested practice aimed at identifying whether or not illegal housing discrimination has occurred. Both complaint-based and audit testing is done by FHCO.  Testing is used to identify ordinary the business practices (of a company, an individual, etc.) and whether or not these practices constitute a violation of the laws.

Other enforcement-related activities may involve filing a complaint with a regulatory agency; either on our own behalf or in assisting a housing consumer who claims a fair housing violation has been committed against them.  At times, we also file lawsuits with private attorneys.  That said, more than 75% of the bona fide fair housing complaints we receive annually are resolved informally and never make it to the formal complaint process.

 What Happens After a Complaint or Lawsuit is Filed?

Fair housing complaints can be filed with the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or a state agency such as the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in Oregon.  A complainant has up to one year from the date of the last alleged incident of illegal discrimination to file a claim.  Alternatively, one may file a suit in court up to two years after the last incident.

If filed with a government agency, that office (HUD or BOLI) will initiate an investigation to determine if there is evidence of illegal discrimination or will attempt to conciliate the complaint with the parties involved.  If conciliation fails, the agency will move to determine whether or not “reasonable cause” exists to believe that fair housing laws have been violated.

If the government agency finds “no reasonable cause,” the complaint is dismissed.  However, if evidence of a violation is found, a hearing will be scheduled before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  If either party elects to proceed with the case in federal court, then either the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) or the state attorney general will represent the case on behalf of the regulatory body.  The decisions of the ALJ or the federal district court are subject to review by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

If the complainant prevails in the case, s/he may be awarded compensatory damages.  These can include any out-of-pocket costs the complainant spent while obtaining alternative housing and any additional costs, including rent, associated with that housing.  Emotional distress damages for such things as humiliation, mental anguish or other psychological injuries may be levied and are in addition to out-of-pocket losses.

In cases tried before an ALJ, a civil penalty of up to $16,000 may be imposed for a first violation up to $65,000 for a third violation.  If the case is brought by the DOJ, civil penalties can be as high as $100,000.

When heard in federal court, punitive damages may be awarded.  These do not reimburse the plaintiff for losses actually suffered; instead, they punish the wrongdoer.  Punitive damages are awarded only if the plaintiff shows the defendant’s conduct was “willful, wanton, or malicious” specifically motivated by an intent to exclude the plaintiff for illegally discriminatory reasons.

Attorney’s fees may be awarded to the prevailing party.  In addition, courts may issue injunctions if they feel prompt action is necessary to prevent immediate and irreparable harm.

In cases involving illegal discrimination in home mortgage loans or home improvement loans, a suit may be filed under both the Fair Housing Act and / or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.  In this case, additional agencies may be involved.

If you have questions about fair housing law, please consider us a resource and let us know!  You may want to start on our website where we have not only the Enforcement Flow Chart posted but also an entire page with tons of resource documents and links just for housing providers like yourself.  You can find these resources at http://fhco.org/hs_provider_info.htm.

This article brought to you by the Fair Housing Council; a civil rights organization.  All rights reserved © 2014. Write jbecker@FHCO.org to reprint articles or inquire about ongoing content for your own publication.

To learn more…  Learn more about fair housing and / or sign up for our free, periodic newsletter at www.FHCO.org.

Qs about this article?  ‘Interested in articles for your company or trade association?  Contact Jo Becker at jbecker@FHCO.org or 800/424-3247 Ext. 150

Want to schedule an in-office fair housing training program or speaker for corporate or association functions?  Visit www.FHCO.org/pdfs/classlist.pdf

 

FAIR HOUSING AND WINDOW FALLS

Guest Blogger:
Jo Becker, Education/Outreach Specialist,
Fair Housing Council
Serving Oregon and SW Washington
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According to Clackamas Fire District #1, about 3,300 children under the age of six fall from windows every year; 70% of them from second or third floor windows. In Oregon, about 50 children between the ages of 0-5 fall from windows annually. The majority of falls occur between May and September when warm weather entices us to open windows for cooling and ventilation.

Such falls can be deadly or lead to lifelong paralysis. In an effort to avoid such horrific tragedies, as well as to avoid liability, many housing providers have taken to advising residents and prospective residents of fall hazards. This, in and of itself, is a good thing; however, there can be fair housing implications.

Twenty years after familial status protection was added to the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA)1, it goes without saying that a landlord, condo association, or other housing provider may not turn away (nor discourage) families with children out of fear of harm to the children. This is true whether that potential perceived harm is the presence of windows on upper floors, lead-based paint, or rickety banisters on the property. It should only ever the family’s choice where and how to raise their children, so long as the household meet legally objective and consistently applied screening criteria and community rules.

Reasonable disclosures are not a bad idea and are, in fact, some times required as is the case with lead-based paint in properties build prior to 1978 (for more information on this visit www.FHCO.org/lead.htm). However, it is important that such disclosures not be targeted to any one protected class. That is to say, only warning families with children about safety issues of window falls and the precautions that can be taken by the household can have a “chilling (or discouraging) effect” and is legally akin to only warning the Muslim households and not the Jewish households, or all of the households in which someone has a disability but none of the rest of the households.

Review your policies and day-to-day procedures to assure you are not targeting children (or any other protected class), either directly or in effect. Where you see legitimate safety concerns, disclosures, disclaimers, warning signs, and having adequate general liability insurance are all appropriate measures to take, so long as these steps don’t single out one protected class, such as children.

Show your care and concern for all of your residents and potential residents by assuring all are well informed and best equipped to live safely on your property for years to come. To that end, following are some window fall safety tips from Clackamas Fire District #1 you may wish to share with all residents:

Set a household rule <note, this for the household to determine, not the housing provider> to open window no more than 4 inches wide. Install a window stop to prevent them from accidentally opening further.
 If you do open windows wider than 4 inches, install window guards with an emergency release device.
 Remember, windows also serve as a secondary means of escape during an emergency. Make sure all windows are still accessible and can open fully without special knowledge or tools.
 Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Screens are to keep bugs out, not people or pets in.
 Keep windows locked and closed when not in use.
 Keep furniture away from windows.
 Establish a household rule about keeping a respectful distance from windows.
 When buying new windows, look for those with built-in 4-inch limiters.

As always, if you have questions about fair housing law, visit our website at www.FHCO.org. There you can find housing provider specific information on the “Housing Providers” page (www.FHCO.org/hs_provider_info.htm). For more information on your responsibilities and the protections surrounding familial status visit www.FHCO.org/families.htm.

———————————————-
This article brought to you by the Fair Housing Council; a nonprofit serving the state of Oregon and SW Washington. All rights reserved © 2014. Write jbecker@FHCO.org to reprint articles or inquire about ongoing content for your own publication.

To learn more…
Learn more about fair housing and / or sign up for our free, periodic newsletter at www.FHCO.org.

Qs about this article? ‘Interested in articles for your company or trade association?
Contact Jo Becker at jbecker@FHCO.org or 800/424-3247 Ext. 150

Want to schedule an in-office fair housing training program or speaker for corporate or association functions?
Visit www.FHCO.org/pdfs/classlist.pdf

Federally protected classes under the Fair Housing Act include: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (children), and disability. Oregon law also protects marital status, source of income, sexual orientation, and domestic violence survivors. Washington law covers martial status, sexual orientation, and domestic violence survivors, and honorably discharged veterans / military status. Additional protected classes have been added in particular geographic areas; visit FHCO.org/mission.htm and read the section entitled “View Local Protected Classes” for more information.