Fair Housing Center Opened

Opened in June 2012, the High Plains Fair Housing Center is a non-profit organization based in Grand Forks that ensures equal access to fair housing in North Dakota and surrounding areas. Through outreach, enforcement and education, the Center aims to raise public awareness of the federal and state fair housing laws.

High Plains Fair Housing Center encourages the following steps to prevent discrimination.
Providers and lenders can take the following steps to prevent discrimination:
* Apply standards equally to all applicants for housing or financing.
* Provide potential tenants/buyers the opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices in their price range without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, the presence of children in the household, or other prohibited classifications.
* Provide equal professional services to all in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing.
* Do not limit potential tenants/buyers to certain neighborhoods, buildings, or floors.
* Provide reasonable accommodations in rules, practices, and procedures for persons with disabilities.
* Take steps to ensure housing is free from harassment or intimidation.
* Develop, distribute, and post a written anti-discrimination policy.
* Discipline agents and employees who engage in discriminatory behavior.
* Provide regular fair housing training for all agents and employees.
* Take immediate corrective action if discrimination has occurred.

“As our state’s population continues to grow, we are seeing many new housing providers and renters,” said Michelle Rydz, High Plains Fair Housing Center executive director. “It is important for us to get our information out there. If people know the rules, they won’t break them.”

The Center presents community educational seminars to renters, landlords, and property managers, holds workshops, distributes publications on fair housing, and collaborates with other organizations to provide training. When necessary the center will do testing to determine if there is a pattern of discrimination.

In addition to providing education, the Center works as an advocate, assisting people who believe they have experienced discrimination (including race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, physical or mental disability, age, marital status and receipt of public assistance) while attempting to rent or purchase housing.

If appropriate, the Center will provide assistance in filing a discrimination complaint with the North Dakota Department of Labor, the state agency that is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints under both federal and state law.

“Partnering with the Department of Labor allows us to advocate, while they enforce. Together we help resolve issues and assist victims,” said Rydz.

For more information on the High Plains Fair Housing Center, visit highplainsfhc.org  or www.facebook.com/HighPlainsFairHousingCenter.

2 thoughts on “Fair Housing Center Opened

  1. Darcy M. Cohrs

    Please let me know of any training coming up in the Fargo area, so my maintenance staff & I can attend. We try to attend one Fair Housing workshop on a yearly basis.


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