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City Attorney and Landlords Will Address Fair Housing:

In recognition of Fair Housing Month, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) and the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit are co-sponsoring a fair housing workshop on April 26, 2007 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica Main Library. The workshop is part of the efforts co-sponsored by the City Attorney’s office and AAGLA, an organization of landlords founded in 1917.

The City Council declared April to be Fair Housing Month in Santa Monica at its April 10 meeting.

During the week of April 23, the lobby of City Hall will also display selected elementary student posters featuring the theme, “Fair Housing Builds Bridges,” from the Consumer Unit’s annual Fair Housing Poster Contest.

These activities are part of the local celebration of National Fair Housing Month, in recognition of the 39th anniversary of Congress passing and President Johnson signing the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The federal Fair Housing Act, including its amendments in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination that is based on race, religion, national origin, gender or disability. The federal laws also protect families with children. California’s own Fair Employment and Housing Act adds additional categories for which discrimination is prohibited, including ancestry and sexual orientation.

At the April 26 workshop, presenters will explain federal and state fair housing laws, and they will also discuss families with children, reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities and alternatives to litigation such as mediation and the administrative complaint process. The presenters include Beth Rosen-Prinz, California Department of Fair Employment & Housing; Adam Radinsky, Deputy City Attorney; John Shulhoff, President of AAGLA; Gary Rhoades, attorney for the City of Santa Monica; Craig Mordoh, local attorney; and Peter Mezza, Santa Monica Housing Authority.

All landlords, property managers, advocates, attorneys, social service providers and interested tenants are invited to attend free of charge.  For more information and to register go to smconsumer.org.

Lainy Parry, AAGLA Board Member and Santa Monica resident, said, “Fair housing for all is a practice vigorously pursued by AAGLA.  Everyone deserves a fair shot at getting an apartment, and AAGLA takes pride in promoting equal opportunity.”  Parry also noted, “This cooperative venture between AAGLA and the City of  Santa Monica is too rare and should be the beginning of good things to come, as there is much more common ground for future projects.”

Adam Radinsky, who heads the Consumer Protection Unit, agreed: “The venture with AAGLA is a great example of a new bridge being built when two groups sit down to discuss a mutually important topic.”

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