Programs and Services Main Pic

FAIR
HOUSING
COUNCIL

of Greater San Antonio
     

Programs and Services

Complaint Investigation
The Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio conducts preliminary investigations of housing discrimination complaints in the areas of rental housing, real estate sales, mortgage lending, and homeowner’s insurance practices. This preliminary investigation may consist of Council staff interviewing witnesses, surveying tenants, monitoring advertising, conducting research, and/or coordinating tests to identify discriminatory housing practices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and/or familial status. In addition, Council staff will attempt to conciliate the matter between the parties involved during the course of this investigation.

To file a housing discrimination complaint, please call the Council to complete a complaint intake during the Council’s normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A complaint intake can also be done in person by appointment only. There are no fees for consumers and consumers can remain anonymous—not give their name.

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Testing Program
Testing, one of the investigative tools available to the Council, has proven to be a highly effective method of identifying unlawful housing discrimination in rental housing, real estate sale, mortgage lending, and homeowners’ insurance. Testing is a controlled process whereby pairs of trained individuals (called testers) who differ in one key characteristic (race, national origin, sex, disability, etc.) visit housing providers, pose as prospective renters or homebuyers, inquire about available housing or financing, and then objectively report on their experiences. The Council’s staff then compares the reported experiences of the individuals in each testing pair to determine whether discriminatory treatment has occurred. The testing reports are evidence that may then be used to substantiate a consumer’s housing discrimination complaint.

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Victim Advocacy
The Fair Housing Council helps victims of housing discrimination file administrative housing discrimination complaints with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or pursue civil court remedies. The deadline for filing a federal administrative complaint with HUD is one (1) year from the date of the last discriminatory incident while the deadline to file a civil lawsuit is two (2) years from the date of the last discriminatory incident.

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South Texas Fair Housing Project
With funding under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program, the Council has expanded its service area beyond Bexar County to include the following South Texas counties:

♦ Atascosa ♦ Duval ♦ Hidalgo ♦ Kerr ♦ McMullen ♦ Val Verde
♦ Bandera ♦ Edwards ♦ Jim Hogg ♦ Kinney ♦ Medina ♦ Webb
♦ Brooks ♦ Frio ♦ Jim Wells ♦ Kleberg ♦ Nueces ♦ Willacy
♦ Cameron ♦ Gillespie ♦ Karnes ♦ La Salle ♦ Real ♦ Wilson
♦ Comal ♦ Gonzales ♦ Kendall ♦ Live Oak ♦ Starr ♦ Zapata
♦ Dimmit ♦ Guadalupe ♦ Kenedy ♦ Maverick ♦ Uvalde ♦ Zavala

The Council’s programs and services, such as complaint investigation, testing, advocacy, and education & outreach are available to consumers living in this South Texas service area. To file a complaint, request a fair housing presentation, and/or just ask questions about your rights, contact our San Antonio office at (210) 733-3247 or toll-free at (866) 733-4953.

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The Directory of Accessible Housing
The Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio (FHCOGSA), in partnership with Making Housing Accessible, a program of The Enterprise Foundation, has created The Directory of Accessible Housing. Funded through a grant from The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, The Directory enables the elderly and people with disabilities to find suitable rental housing in San Antonio and/or Bexar County. The Directory provides information about accessible units, eligibility criteria, price ranges, amenities, school districts, nearby businesses, etc. for apartment complexes and/or housing facilities in San Antonio and Bexar County.

In determining an apartment complex and/or housing facility’s eligibility for inclusion in The Directory of Accessible Housing, the Fair Housing Council considered whether the complex/facility had wheelchair accessible dwelling units, whether the complex/facility provided housing targeted for the elderly and/or people with disabilities, and whether the complex/facility participated in any housing assistance programs funded by the local, state, or federal government.

Visit www.accessiblehousing.org to search for housing that meets your needs, to learn about laws dealing with accessibility in housing, or to add your apartment complex and/or housing facility to The Directory of Accessible Housing.

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Education and Outreach
Although the majority of the Fair Housing Council’s work is focused on fair housing investigation and enforcement, the Council also provides presentations on fair housing issues to housing consumers, housing providers, community groups, tenants’ associations, advocacy groups, social service agencies, and the general public.

In addition, the Council participates in community fairs, tenant association meetings, housing task force meetings, etc. because it is committed to educating housing consumers about how to recognize and report housing discrimination. In addition, the Council aims to prevent harmful and unlawful discrimination by educating housing providers as to the nature and meaning of the fair housing laws.

If you are interested in having the Council conduct a fair housing presentation to your staff, tenants, and/or clientele, please feel free to contact Stephanie D. Hernandez, FHCOGSA’s Intake Specialist, at (210) 733-3247 or toll-free at (866) 733-4953.

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TDHCA Approved Fair Housing Training
Under the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) Housing Tax Credit Program Qualified Allocation Plan and Rules, the owner and the architect for all awarded developments must attend fair housing training. The training is intended to provide the owner and architect with information on both the design aspects of developing rental housing that is consistent with fair housing, as well as, occupancy and leasing issues. TDHCA also encourages awardees of all rental housing funds to attend these trainings.

While TDHCA does not offer the training, it does provide a listing of approved fair housing training providers, one of which is the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio. Please contact our office to find out about upcoming fair housing training sessions and fees.

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Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE
May 2, 2018

FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF GREATER SAN ANTONIO FILES FEDERAL HOUSING DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST LOCAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES

On May 2, 2018, the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio (“FHCOGSA”) filed a federal lawsuit against apartment management companies Texas Regional Asset Management, L.L.C.; Vesta Corporation; El Patrimonio Apartments, L.P.; and Gates of Capernum Apartments, L.P. (“Defendants”) for discriminating against families with children in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit alleges that Defendants enforce unreasonable and discriminatory rules against families with children at the apartment complexes that they manage throughout South Texas. Defendants, for example, enforce strict curfews after which parents and their children cannot be anywhere outside of their immediate apartment units (including their own patios), which precludes tenants with children from accessing amenities and common areas that tenants without children can access without restriction. Defendants also prohibit children from being supervised on Defendants’ properties by any adult other than a parent. Tenants who violate Defendants’ rules for families with children are faced with hundreds of dollars in fines or eviction.

Read the full Press Release HERE
Read the complaint HERE  

PRESS RELEASE
March 27, 2018

FACEBOOK SUED BY CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS FOR DISCRIMINATION IN ONLINE HOUSING ADVERTISEMENT

On March 27, 2018, the National Fair Housing Alliance (“NFHA”) and three of its member organizations (Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio, Fair Housing Justice Center, and Housing Opportunities for Excellence, Inc.),  filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. in federal court in New York City, alleging that Facebook’s advertising platform enables landlords and real estate brokers to exclude families with children, women, and other protected classes of people from receiving housing ads. With almost 2 billion users, Facebook customizes the audience for its millions of advertisers based on its vast trove of personalized user data. After being warned repeatedly about its discriminatory advertising practices, Facebook continues to use this data to deny people access to rental housing and real estate sales ads because of their sex and family status.

Read the full Press Release HERE
Read the complaint HERE 

PRESS RELEASE
April 28, 2017

SAN ANTONIO FAIR HOUSING ORGANIZATION FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST LOCAL LANDLORDS

On April 28, 2017, the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio (“FHCOGSA”) filed a federal housing discrimination lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Western District of Texas against Ana and Michael Litofsky, who, based on FHCOGSA’s investigation, own and manage hundreds of properties in the San Antonio-area. The lawsuit alleges that Ana and Michael Litofsky refused to show or rent available housing units to prospective tenants who indicated that they had children. The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of familial status.

Read the full Press Release HERE

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Upcoming Events

MAY 21, 2018 - RENTERS' RIGHTS INFORMATION SESSION - San Antonio, Texas

In partnership with the City of San Antonio's Department of Human Services, the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio will be conducting a FREE Renter's Rights Information Session for consumers and staff of social service agencies, non-profit groups, and tenant advocacy groups.

Come learn about the fair housing rights of renters and people with disabilities.

There will also be an opportunity for attendees to meet one-on-one with a Fair Housing Specialist to discuss your or your client's problems with their landlords.

DATE:  Monday, May 21, 2018
TIME:  11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
PLACE:  Memorial Branch Library
ADDRESS:  3222 Culebra Road, San Antonio, Texas 78228
FEE:  None! It's free!

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES:  If you need a special accommodation to attend this information session (such as a sign language interpreter, etc.), then please contact our office at (210) 733-3247 by Thursday, May 17, 2018, so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

Please note that seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

We will have DOOR PRIZES!


MAY 24, 2018 - RENTERS' RIGHTS INFORMATION SESSION - Soapworks & Towne Center Apts

The Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio will be conducting a FREE Renter's Rights Information Session for tenants of Soapworks & Towne Center Apartments.

DATE:  Thursday, May 24, 2018
TIME:  6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
PLACE:  Christopher Columbus Italian Society Hall
ADDRESS:  201 Piazza Italia, San Antonio, Texas 78207
FEE:  None! It's free!

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES:  If you need a special accommodation to attend this information session (such as a sign language interpreter, etc.), then please contact our office at (210) 733-3247 by Monday, May 21, 2018, so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

Please note that seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

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