FREE FAIR HOUSING PROGRAMS IN CHICAGO'S NORTH & NORTHWEST SUBURBS
HOUSING COUNSELING & EDUCATION
Open Communities is the only housing agency in the northern suburbs of Chicago certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), offering six housing counseling programs to the community. Our Housing Counseling department works to help families stay in their homes and protect landlords' assets through education and intervention. We do this through public workshops for renters, landlords, homeowners, potential homeowners, and people in the real estate industry. We also offer one on one counseling & education, foreclosure counseling, pre-purchase programs, and rental mediation.
FAIR HOUSING TESTING & ENFORCEMENT
Open Communities is a HUD-designated private enforcer of fair housing laws. When community members experience discrimination in the housing market, they can turn to Open Communities for guidance. Open Communities can investigate the allegations of discrimination through fair housing testing. "Testers" are people who pose as potential renters or homebuyers in various real estate situations to determine whether unlawful discriminatory housing practices are taking place. As a private enforcer of the fair housing laws, Open Communities can choose how to enforce fair housing laws when it does uncover evidence of discrimination.
Overall, Open Communities prefers to educate rather than litigate. We like to say "education over litigation." Our staff provides training to local community members so that the people who face discrimination the most know their rights and how to exercise them. Open Communities also educates the housing provider industry, including landlords, property managers, and realtors.
Do you think you have faced housing discrimination? Contact us to discuss your next steps.