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OHR to Join Dept. of Housing and Community Development for Release of Guide to Fair Housing Obstacles in DC

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CONTACT:     Elliot Imse, Policy & Public Affairs Officer: 202.481.3773, [email protected]


WHAT/WHO:  Office of Human Rights (OHR) Director Gustavo Velasquez will join Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Director Michael P. Kelly for the latter’s release of the “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice 2006-2011” report. The six-year study analyzes demographic and housing trends to identify impediments to attaining fair housing in the District, and makes recommendations to agencies. Director Velasquez will speak about OHR’s work to further fair housing in the District, and explain how the report will influence that work. Steven Paikin, Director of the Washington Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity Field Office, will also speak about the report.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

10 am



DHCD Housing Resource Center

1800 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE

Washington, DC 20020


BACKGROUND:  OHR has drastically increased its proactive work on fair housing issues in 2012, made possible by a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Assistance Program through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. The grant – in partnership with the Equal Rights Center and National Community Reinvestment Coalition – enables OHR to:

- Conduct a District-wide Fair Housing Testing Initiative;

- Provide educational trainings to District housing inspectors;

- Conduct data analysis regarding systemic lending discrimination in the District; and

- Develop an awareness campaign to educate District residents about the right to fair housing.

In summer of 2012, OHR launched the Fair Housing Is Your Right campaign, which included print advertisements and community outreach. The advertisements and accompanying community posters are available at



About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live in or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.