The Fair Housing Center is excited to announce the addition of a new position: Housing Conditions and Neighborhood Reinvestment Attorney.
The mission of The Fair Housing Center demands that we respond to blight and poor housing conditions as they arise, specifically in areas that have faced racial discrimination through redlining. The same neighborhood areas that met redlining in the 1930s still have the worst housing conditions because of historic and ongoing disinvestment. As a community and agency, we must hold those that prey on these communities accountable. This new staff attorney position will further this vital part of our mission.
More than any other type of call, The Fair Housing Center receives requests for assistance with poor housing conditions. We consistently observe that when tenants pursue advocacy on their own, through rent escrow cases or otherwise, they are only successful with legal representation. With assistance from an attorney, these families will achieve better outcomes.
At the same time, the landscape of landlord-tenant relationships is steadily becoming more legalistic. As most of Toledo’s population shifts to tenants, local and state laws, policies, and regulations are also shifting. New rules and interpretations of these rules are developing rapidly to address this demographic change. The new lead poisoning prevention ordinance is just one example. As a result, The Fair Housing Center needs to have an attorney with the ability to consider these issues.
A portion of the attorney’s time will also focus on neighborhood reinvestment through Community Reinvestment Act advocacy. The attorney will meet with local banks and connect with residents to organize requests for better loan products, grants, and investments to address housing conditions and blight in neighborhoods of color.
The Fair Housing Center is thrilled to announce that Ms. Christina Rodriguez, who previously served as a senior attorney focused on fair housing cases, started in this role on November 1, 2022.