Seminar reviews fair housing laws, industry best practices

The combined staffs of Caritas Management and Mission Housing sit with attorneys from Fair Housing of Marin as they present a comprehensive review of federal and state fair housing laws.

Mission Housing, Caritas Management staff get in-depth fair housing course on renter rights, housing provider responsibilities

September 23, 2016, the combined staffs of Caritas Management Corporation and Mission Housing Development Corporation sat with attorneys from Fair Housing of Marin as they presented a comprehensive review of federal and state fair housing laws. The event also outlined pro-active fair housing policies and best practices that can help protect tenants from possible discrimination.

“Mission Housing and Caritas Management are both very focused on providing our tenants a housing experience above and beyond what is required by law,” said Marcía Contreras, Director of Operations and Resident Services at Mission Housing. “This annual seminar is a great way to make sure our staff is always upholding our commitment to fairly accommodating our tenants’ rights.”

The three-hour session, held in the auditorium at Centro del Pueblo, covered a wide range of fair housing related topics. Also included: An overview of recent changes to fair housing laws governing disability discrimination, reasonable accommodations and accessibility, familial rights and gender.

Fair Housing of Marin offers many training seminars and conferences on fair housing law every year. Property owners and managers, housing advocates, and other real estate professionals in the private and public sectors attend the events.

The Federal Fair Housing Act protects individuals from discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability and familial status. In the State of California, there are additional protections for marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, source of income and arbitrary characteristics such as age through the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

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Housing Hero Awards recognize local housing advocates

Tim Colen (left) of SF Housing Action Coalition and Sam Moss of Mission Housing Development Corporation look on as Kim-Mai Cutler receives the Housing Hero Award. Photos by Tony Bear!

SF Housing Action Coalition recognizes two long-time affordable housing advocates as Housing Heroes

September 28, 2016, several hundred people with ties to the affordable housing industry gathered in The Green Room of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center. The 14th Annual Housing Hero Awards, hosted by The SF Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC), designated two long-time affordable housing advocates as Housing Heroes. The two awardees played substantial roles in creating more housing opportunities for San Franciscans.

After an energetic cocktail hour, Tim Colen, Executive Director of SFHAC, began the awards ceremony. The first awardee, journalist/columnist and popular conference speaker Kim-Mai Cutler, was introduced by Mission Housing Executive Director Sam Moss.

“When I found out Kim was being presented the award, I begged SFHAC to let me present it to her, because… she writes for all of us… the ones that want to stay in San Francisco, and [who] don’t accept decisions that were made 40 years ago,” said Moss in his remarks. “Every time I read her writing, I get a smile on my face. [Kim,] I just want to thank you for giving me the confidence to do what I do.”

Cutler, who explores the intersection of the tech sector and public policy wrote an article on in 2014 “How Burrowing Owls Lead to Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained) .” The post ignited a resurgence in local housing advocacy.

San Francisco District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang was also honored. While delivering her acceptance speech, she brought on stage her staffers who work on affordable housing issues.

Among Supervisor Tang’s accomplishments was spearheading the enactment of the Affordable Housing Bonus Program. Signed into law July 29, 2016, the 100% Affordable Housing Bonus Ordinance is San Francisco’s local density bonus law and middle-income housing program.

Nominations for the Housing Hero award are solicited from the public, across a broad spectrum of people, teams, organizations or even residential developments. Notable past winners include Supervisor Scott Wiener, Mayor Ed Lee, and Mission Housing collaborator David Baker, architect of 1950 Mission.

The event is also a very successful fundraiser for SFHAC.

SFHAC is a member supported nonprofit advocating for building housing at all levels of affordability. Since 1999, SFHAC connects organizations, individuals, decision-makers and business leaders. The goal: To find constructive solutions for the diverse housing needs of current and future San Francisco’s residents.

Learn how to become a business/organization or individual member of SFHAC here.