Written by Michelle Nastasis for Gay Central Valley
The 17th annual Fair Housing Conference was held on April 30, 2013 at Pardini's in Fresno, and was hosted by the Fair Housing Council of Central California and its executive director, MJ Borelli.
Among the speakers at the event were Paul E. Smith (chief intake officer for Region 9 of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in San Francisco), Kathleen Belville (a housing attorney based in San Diego), Chandra Gheri Spencer (a fair housing attorney based in Westlake Village, CA), Margaret Elder (an attorney specializing in habitability and race discrimination issues based in Huntington Beach, CA), Mary Curry (with the Concerned citizens for West Fresno), Phoebe Seaton ( with the California Rural Legal Assistance Program and counsel for the Concerned Citizens for West Fresno), Chris Jarvis (President of Gay Central Valley) and Kate Henry (Board member of Gay Central Valley).
Among the topics covered were: sex harassment and housing, fighting city hall when city hall violates housing laws, what constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the fair housing act, equal access to housing regardless of gender identity or orientation. We examined several case studies regarding habitability complaints. We also examined the impact on the LGBT community and fair housing, specifically on LGBT youth, LGBT elderly and other factors on the LGBT Community.
A huge thank you goes out to MJ Borelli and her staff for hosting this event and inviting Gay Central Valley and the Fresno LGBT Center to be a part of this event.
**Report issues of discrimination in housing to the Fair Housing Council of Central California