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Ohio Valley Fair Housing Center schedules fair housing process workshops

STEUBENVILLE — Ohio Valley Fair Housing Center has scheduled a series of workshops in September to explain the fair housing process to interested Jefferson County residents and what to do if you suspect you’ve been the victim of discrimination.

Workshops are set for:

• Tuesday — Toronto Municipal Building (council chambers), 416 Clark St., Toronto, 10 a.m.; Steubenville Municipal Building (council chambers), 123 South Third St., Steubenville, 6:30 p.m.

• Sept. 23 — Jefferson County courthouse (county commission meeting), 301 Market St., Steubenville, 10:30 a.m.

• Sept. 27 — Jefferson Tower, (second floor community room), 500 Market St., Steubenville, 6:30 p.m.

• Sept. 28 — JFK Apartments (community room), 815 North Sixth Ave., Steubenville, 11 a.m.

“It is important because discrimination is not only bad business practice, it is illegal,” Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi said. “Everyone has the right to live anywhere they can afford to live, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, familial status, national origin or disability (protected classes under the law.)”

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance, or other housing-related activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits this discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.

While many people have heard of fair housing, officials say they don’t understand their rights under the Fair Housing Act. Whether renters or buyers, people should familiarize themselves with and know the Fair Housing Act so they can better understand federal fair housing policies and laws and what their rights are.

“The most common type and increasing number of fair housing complaints are based on disability,” Petrossi said. “Therefore, this year’s training is focusing on housing for persons with disabilities and compliance with fair housing law.”

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