What is the Fair Housing Center?
The Fair Housing Center is charged with educating residents of Lancaster in the areas of fair housing law, landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities and ensuring equal treatment in housing regardless of an individual's belonging to a protected class.
Located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and housed at Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, the Fair Housing Center serves thousands of individuals and families each year through a housing question hotline, private consultations, trainings, and presentations. The Fair Housing Center ensures its relevancy through with guidance of the Fair Housing Committee (a group of individuals representing the private sector, governmental sector and nonprofits).
In 1964, the Lancaster County and Lancaster City governments created the Lancaster City-County Human Relations Committee. This organization's charge was to create a climate of understanding and cooperation among the diverse groups of which Lancaster was composed. The first issue for the Human Relations Committee was in the area of housing. The following is quoted from an April 1976 document entitled 'The First Eleven Years' produced by the Lancaster City-County Human Relations Committee:
In a report issued by the Lancaster Fair Housing Committee, abuses of Fair Housing Laws by landlords and realtors of Lancaster City were found to be numerous. A report developed by the Housing Subcommittee entitled "Opportunity Housing" concerned the problems and virtues of inter-racial housing and was developed for a study on future public slum conditions in the Southeast Area. After this survey a resolution by the Housing Subcommittee was passed urging enforcement of the housing code by government agencies. The subcommittee publicly attacked the Lancaster Board of Realtors for their lack of concern or effort to help eliminate the problem of segregated housing. A meeting between the two parties was scheduled but only a representative, not a spokesman attended and nothing was accomplished.
In order to more effectively address these housing issues, The Fair Housing Program of the Lancaster County Human Relations Commission was established in 1982. Its function was to help prevent discrimination through education and outreach. After the Lancaster County Human Relations Commission was disbanded in December 2010, the Fair Housing Program ceased to exist. However, the Commissioners of the County of Lancaster saw a need and responsibility to ensure that fair housing efforts continue in the County of Lancaster.
In 2011, with funds from the County of Lancaster, City of Lancaster and Lancaster County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities, Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership contracted with the County of Lancaster, and the Fair Housing Center was created.
Many efforts to ensure fair housing opportunities have occurred since our community first addressed the issue of equally – yet much remains to be accomplished to ensure that all residents of Lancaster have fair housing opportunities. The Fair Housing Center seeks to address these concerns through education and enforcement of fair housing laws in collaboration with our partners.
Contact the Fair Housing Center
For answers to questions not found on this website, please call Nathan S. Roth, Fair Housing Director at the Fair Housing Center at LHOP directly: 717-299-7840.