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Stay informed about North Penn Legal Service activity and advocacy work.

As the requests rise for an emotional support animals (ESA), so do the voices of the critics.  The New York Times recently published two articles pertaining to college student’s requests for ESAs.  The first article talked about the issues involved in addressing a requests on a college campus, such as balancing the rights of individuals with disabilities with those of individuals fearful of or allergic to animals.  The second article talked about the readership’s response to the first article.  And what a response it is!  Apparently, many people don&rsqu

The location and design of homes vary in many ways.  However, what most people agree upon is that a home should be a safe haven – a place where someone feels comfortable, alone or living with family, secure that their most basic needs will be met.  Home is where you should be able to be yourself and enjoy family and friends, even if you may have a disability that limits you. 

Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Fair Housing Act, 42 USCS § 3601 et seq., allows claims based upon a theory of disparate impact upon protected classes. Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 576 U.S. ___ (2015). This is a long awaited ruling, as over the past forty years, the Circuit Courts of Appeals had addressed the issue and found that fair housing cases were not limited to cases where the plaintiff could prove intentional discrimination (disparate treatment).

Across the country, fair housing organizations, community justice and advocacy groups, along with federal and state housing agencies recognize April as Fair Housing Month. On April 11, 1968, the Federal Fair Housing Act was enacted. The Fair Housing Act prohibited discrimination in the rental, purchase and financing of dwellings based on race, color, national origin and religion. Each year thereafter, we commemorate the efforts to outlaw discrimination in housing and ensure equal enjoyment of housing opportunities to all.

For more information adn how to register for the Fair Housing Conference - Promoting Accessibility in the Lehigh Valley, please click on the following link.

http://www.northpennlegal.org/events/fair-housing-conference-promoting-accessibility-lehigh-valley

On May 1, NPLS conducted a fair housing training for PA State Legislators and their staff at our Bethlehem Office.  NPLS Executive Director Victoria Coyle gave a brief overview about our history and services.  Her remarks were followed by NPLS Managing Attorney Leah Finlayson who spoke about the direct service work and outreach activities that our staff offer clients and the community.  A 3-minute fair housing video (filmed by PBS39) was shown to give a client perspective to the fair housing work that we do.

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