Residents’ Input Sought at Oakland County Fair Housing Forums

Oakland County wants to hear from residents to identify and address barriers that may exist to fair housing in the county. The Community & Home Improvement Division (CHI) will host six public housing forums where residents can share their experiences and learn about their rights under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. There will also be a voluntary survey for those who cannot attend the forums.

“We are committed to improving affordable housing options for all Oakland County homeowners and renters,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “That’s why we want your voice to be heard. The information residents provide will be invaluable in determining how Oakland County overcomes barriers to fair housing wherever they may exist.”

Interested residents can take the survey at www.Oakgov.com/FairHousingSurvey. It requires about 10 minutes to complete. Printed copies of the survey are available at various local nonprofit agencies, community centers and government offices. Completed surveys can be placed in return boxes where the survey was obtained or mailed to: County of Oakland, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Ste. 1, Pontiac, 48341-9901. No postage is required. They can also be hand delivered to the Community & Home Improvement Office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 250 Elizabeth Lake Road, Ste. 1900, in Pontiac. The deadline to submit completed surveys is Nov. 22.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale or renting of housing and home financing or making unavailable or denying a dwelling to anyone because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or familial status. Fair housing and barriers to fair housing are monitored by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Oakland County is required to conduct an “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice” every five years as a recipient of federal Community Development Block Grant and Home Investment Partnership funding. Should impediments to fair housing choice be found, the county is required to take appropriate action to overcome the effects of any identified barrier.

The survey, which is completed anonymously, asks respondents where they live and work and includes questions about their specific household, neighborhood, new housing and familiarity with fair housing laws.

Citizen forums are set for:

• Oct. 22 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Springfield Township Library, 12000 Davisburg Road, Davisburg.

• Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the Southfield Parks & Recreation Building, Room 223, 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield.

• Oct. 23 from 9-11 a.m. at Wixom City Hall, 49045 Pontiac Trail, Wixom.

• Oct. 23 from 1-3 p.m. at the Orion Center, 1335 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion.

• Nov. 12 from 6-8 p.m. at Madison Heights City Hall, 300 W. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights.

• Nov. 13 from 6-8 p.m. at the Pontiac Library, 60 E. Pike St., Pontiac.

There are also three professional fair housing focus group meetings which engage housing and human service professionals who assist homeless, disabled and low-income households:

• Nov. 13 from 9-11 a.m. at the Oakland Community Health Network, Superior Room, 5505 Corporate Drive #2614, Troy.

• Nov. 13 from 2-4 p.m. at the L. Brooks Patterson Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford.

• Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Oakland County Service Center, Medical Examiner Building 28 East, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac.

A public presentation of the draft Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice is set for Jan. 22, 2020, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the L. Brooks Patterson Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. The presentation is hosted by the Citizens Advisory Council for Community & Home Improvement.

Those with specific questions about the survey can call 888-350-0900 ext. 80493 or email chi@oakgov.com.