Understanding fair housing for renters and buyers

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GERING, Neb. If you live in a rented or bought house or apartment, there is some information you should know about.

Representatives from housing departments hosted a conference to explain fair housing to residents.

Everyone must be treated fairly based on membership of protected classes when applying for housing.

Protected membership classes include race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability and family status.

When you are shopping for housing, look for common wording like ‘housing for single people.’

The information provided will prove if the housing is a good fit for you and your family.

Make sure there are not any discriminatory remarks displayed.

“If someone comes and they are white and you give them a packet of materials about your house that you are selling about the neighborhood and local schools, you must provide the same information to everyone,” explained Ben Watson, Unit Director for Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission. “If another couple comes and they are Hispanic or black, you want to make sure you give those people the same materials that you are giving the white couple.”

For accommodations, that must be discussed between the tenant and the landlord.

If you have any issues with your tenant that cannot be resolved, Watson says to contact your local or state agency.

The conference will also discuss what is vash, bad tenant vs tenant you don’t like, a panel discussion, what is a reasonable accommodation, can landlords get into trouble and common household pests.

The conference will be available at the Gering Civic Center until 4:30pm.