City of Albany talks housing discrimination for Fair Housing Month

City of Albany talks housing discrimination for Fair Housing Month

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - April is Fair Housing Month and the City of Albany is working on multiple efforts to improve fair access to housing around town.

BJ Jackson is with the city’s Community & Economic Development Office and said they’re hosting a training next Tuesday to help people learn about fair housing regulations.

“We’ll talk about the process you go through if you feel like you’re being discriminated against for housing. You can go on the internet and file a complaint, or you can file a direct complaint here with the city,” said Jackson.

If you do file a complaint, be prepared for them to do a full investigation before changes can happen.

Jackson said some complaints are more common than others.

“If you have a section 8 voucher, a lot of landlords may not want to accept that. And people with disabilities, especially when it wasn’t an existing disability when they got the place but now, reasonable accommodation comes into play,” explained Jackson.

The 1968 Fair Housing Act bans housing discrimination over race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and familial status.

“It’s the law, it’s not an option,” said Jackson.

Jackson said they understand that landlords have difficulties too and the training will help educate both sides.

Albany is also continuing a rental assistance program they put in place in November for people that lost income due to COVID-19. Officials said they’re just waiting for you to sign up.

“We have plenty of money out there we just need people to apply for it. It is not money they have to pay back. It is money we pay the landlord on their behalf,” said Barbara Tuck, who manages the program.

Tuck said it’s for people with low to moderate income. For more information on that or to register for the fair housing training, call (229) 302-1240.

Both tenants and landlords are encouraged to attend the upcoming training.

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