April designated Fair Housing Month

FINALIZING DETAILS — Members of the Fair Housing Practices Commission and Ohio Valley Fair Housing Center finalized details Monday for this year’s free training seminars. On hand for the session were, from left, John Barnes, Mattie Patterson, Gloria Crossland and David Chester. Jackie Hines also is a member. -- Linda Harris

STEUBENVILLE — Members of the Fair Housing Practices Commission and the Ohio Valley Fair Housing Center say it’s more important than ever to educate members of the public about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to housing.

“A lot of people don’t realize what fair housing (means) until it hits them personally,” OVFHC Chair John Barnes said. “That’s why we try to educate the public — tenants as well as landlords and banking institutions.”

April has been designated Fair Housing Month in the city of Steubenville, and the FHPC and OVFHC will mark it with a series of free seminars to ensure the public is aware of its rights, and that landlords and lenders know what is expected of them.

Assistant Ohio Attorney General Wayne D. Williams will be the speaker at an April 15 session at Eastern Gateway Community College geared toward training for landlords, property managers and tenants on Ohio fair housing and landlord-tenant laws. Williams, legal counsel to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, prosecutes discrimination cases dealing with employment and fair housing issues. The session will begin at 9 a.m. in EGCC’s Pugliese Training Center.

Workshops open to all Jefferson County residents are set for:

≤ March 27: Jefferson Towers-Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission meeting, 7 p.m.

≤ April 3: Empire Village council meeting, 7 p.m.

≤ April 8: Toronto Council, 7 p.m.

≤ April 9: Jefferson Behavioral Health System staff training at Trinity Medical Center East, 9 a.m.; Smithfield Village Council, 2 p.m.; Michael Meyers Terrace Apartments community room, 6:30 p.m.

≤ April 10: Stratton Village Council, 7 p.m.

≤ April 15: Toronto branch of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, 2 p.m.; and Jefferson Towers, 6:30 p.m.

≤ April 16: JMHA staff training in the Kennedy Building community room, 10 a.m.; and city of Steubenville staff training in the Pugliese Room at City Hall, 2 p.m.

≤ April 17: Toronto Recreation Center, 11 a.m.; and Saline Township Complex, 5 p.m.

Barnes said with the city “becoming more of a college town, it’s important they know their rights and that they have a commission they can come to with their complaints.”

“We need to let people know we do have a fair housing commission that does work for them,” member FHPC Chair Mattie Patterson added.