The Fair Housing Law Center, in close collaboration with its partners, provides the first and only coordinated effort in the 28-county region of Western Pennsylvania to affirmatively promote through testing, advocacy, counsel and litigation the rights of the protected classes delineated in the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Law Center provides services throughout a largely rural region covering 18,500 square miles with a widely dispersed population of 2.7 million individuals.
The Fair Housing Law Center was launched and is operated by Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid (SPLA). Since 1968, SPLA has been recognized as a leader in providing comprehensive legal and supportive services to low-income rural families.
The Fair Housing Law Center provides advocacy and litigation services on behalf of individuals who were denied housing because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability; educates community members about illegal acts affecting themselves or others under the Fair Housing Act; and conducts single tests throughout the service area for residential, accessibility, sales and lending or insurance discrimination to assess the problems individuals face when seeking housing.
The Fair Housing Law Center operates in 28 counties in Pennsylvania (Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland) and four (4) counties in West Virginia (Brooke, Hancock, Marshall and Ohio).
Since 2005, the program has increasingly focused its resources and professional legal expertise on addressing the multiple, often complex, issues involved in ensuring decent, safe, adequate housing for citizens residing in the region.
With funding from the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), SPLS commenced the West Penn Rural Fair Housing Educational Outreach Initiative (West Penn EOI), encompassing 24 rural counties in western Pennsylvania. Initially, the focus of the West Penn EOI centered on promoting awareness of fair housing rights and remedies throughout the targeted area. SPLA and its partners engaged in a successful year-long effort to inform and educate citizens regarding the scope of protection and remedial value of this crucial federal and state protection.
In April 2010, SPLA, together with its four legal services partners and seven additional “Rights Advocate Partners,” launched a more concentrated and broader initiative, adding a Private Enforcement Initiative component (West Penn PEI) to the West Penn EOI program. The West Penn PEI and EOI projects have experienced continued success, meeting or exceeding all projected outcomes since 2010.
In 2014, West Penn Rural Fair Housing received PEI and EOI funding from HUD to allow the program to continue efforts to educate the public of their rights under the Fair Housing Act and provide comprehensive advocacy and litigation services to victims of housing discrimination.
In December 2016, West Penn Rural Fair Housing became the Fair Housing Law Center and will continue to seek and ensure safe, decent, affordable housing to all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status.
The Fair Housing Law Center offers education and legal representation to ensure everyone has access to housing free from discrimination.
The Fair Housing Law Center is a project of Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid (SPLA). Our goal is to identify and eliminate housing discrimination through education, advocacy and enforcement efforts. We serve 28 counties in western Pennsylvania and four counties in West Virginia. We work in close collaboration with numerous partners and advocates across the region.
REPORT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
If you believe you have been discriminated against in your efforts to find housing, reach out to us today. Our attorneys will be able to guide you to the best resources for your situation, including providing legal counsel and representation, if appropriate. Any help you may receive from us is completely free to you.