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 8:00 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.

back to top


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.

back to top


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.

back to top


South Texas Fair Housing Project
With funding under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program, the Council has opened a Field Office in McAllen, Texas (in Hidalgo County) and expanded its service area to include the following South Texas counties:

♦ Atascosa ♦ Dimmit ♦ Guadalupe ♦ Kenedy ♦ Maverick ♦ Val Verde
♦ Bandera ♦ Duval ♦ Hidalgo ♦ Kerr ♦ McMullen ♦ Webb
♦ Bexar ♦ Edwards ♦ Jim Hogg ♦ Kinney ♦ Medina ♦ Willacy
♦ Brooks ♦ Frio ♦ Jim Wells ♦ Kleberg ♦ Real ♦ Wilson
♦ Cameron ♦ Gillespie ♦ Karnes ♦ LaSalle ♦ Starr ♦ Zapata
♦ Comal ♦ Gonzales ♦ Kendall ♦ Live Oak ♦ 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, our McAllen Field Office at (956) 682-3247, or toll-free at (866) 733-4953.

back to top


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.

back to top


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 Administrative Assistant, at (210) 733-3247 or toll-free at (866) 733-4953.

back to top


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.

back to top


Upcoming Events
In partnership with HUD's Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST and the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs (TDHCA), the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio is co-sponsoring a FREE Fair Housing Accessibility Training  to promote awareness and understanding of the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements for covered new construction, multi-family housing.

DATE:  Thursday, May 29, 2014

TIME:  8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

PLACE:  University of Texas Thompson Conference Center

ADDRESS:  2405 Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, Texas 78712

REGISTRATION:   CLICK HERE

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

back to top