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Housing Equality Law Project (HELP) is a full service fair housing agency. HELP's mission is to eliminate discrimination in housing by education and outreach, counseling, conciliation, investigation, enforcement and furthering fair housing protections. HELP is headquartered in San Francisco and serves the entire State of California, with a special emphasis on providing service in areas that are unserved or underserved. HELP works very closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), along with doing public policy work. HELP believes that most people generally want to do the right thing but lack the proper information related to fair housing laws. By educating both housing providers and seekers HELP's activities ensure both parties have the required knowledge and tools to fulfill their mutual obligations under the law. HELP concentrates on education and outreach, and reserves litigation for limited cases such as repeat offenders or those with egregious violations.
Housing Providers* – Landlords, Property Managers, and Leasing Agents may contact HELP for a free consultation. HELP provides comprehensive fair housing trainings* which cover all areas of fair housing laws and all types of situations. These comprehensive trainings complete with the newest laws and regulations can help protect you from costly fair housing liability. This training is also unique because the curriculum is based on real complaints and utilizes the investigative strategies used by fair housing investigators. Training your staff voluntarily is often seen as a mitigating factor should you ever face a discrimination lawsuit. However, in our experience, housing providers that take annual fair housing trainings are rarely faced with discrimination lawsuits. *Fees for fair housing training vary according to the number of units and attendees.
Clients** – If you have a question or concern regarding your tenancy or feel you have been a victim of housing discrimination, please contact HELP and speak with our qualified staff who will determine if you have a fair housing related issue. Should HELP consider your situation to be a possible fair housing violation, an independent investigation will be conducted. If HELP uncovers corroborating evidence of your complaint, you will be counseled of your options. Your options can include conciliation, filing an administrative complaint or referring the case for litigation. Each case is unique and the outcome will vary as such. Examples of relief can include securing the unit you sought, rescinding notice to terminate tenancy, training for the housing providers, and financial settlement. HELP will proceed according to the client's wishes. **All services are provided FREE of charge to the client.
Fair Housing Councils, Government and Legal Service Providers*** – HELP provides contract services for systemic (audit based) testing, complaint based testing (which can be returned to contract agency for enforcement), "temp" fair housing staff placements who are qualified to perform all job duties of a fair housing counselor including generating funding reports for local jurisdictions (CDBG) and / or HUD (FHIP). HELP also provides other services such as preparing Analyses of Impediments, education and outreach, assessment of procedures and protocols used during investigation, recruiting and training testers, and grant proposal preparation. HELP staff members are also qualified to serve as consultants to government agencies in auditing their recipients to ensure programmatic and financial activities are in compliance. ***Fees vary depending on the project.
Contact HELP at:
Telephone: 415.797.4357 or 650.273.8140
Visit our website at www.housingequality.org
*Fair Housing training for housing providers
**Services for Clients
***Fees for Fair housing Councils, Government and Legal Service Providers