Each April we celebrate the 1968 passage of the Fair Housing Act with a series of free public education and art events to raise awareness about the importance of equal access to housing, free from discrimination, and the positive role that inclusive, affordable housing plays in thriving communities. Virtual and in-person activities include workshops, community discussions, presentations, library events, and the all-ages HeART & Home Community Art Project.
Here’s a sampling of this year’s statewide events. For full schedule and details visit https://fairhousingmonthvt.org/event-calendar.
- BURLINGTON IN-PERSON EVENTS: Champlain Street Park Community Action Day 11am-2pm April 19 – park clean up, activities and lunch; “Longing Is Just a Word for Knowing” – art opening, conversation, refreshments 3-6pm April 20; “Vocabulary of Home: A Conversation on How We Talk About Housing”- 6-7:30pm April 26; Main Street Landing movie night, April 28.
- EXHIBITS: “Redlining Our Souls” at Junction Arts Media in White River Junction, “Home and How We Make It” at River Arts in Morrisville, “Longing Is Just a Word for Knowing” at King Street Laundry in Burlington, and a Fair Housing Month display at Burlington City Hall.
- FAIR HOUSING FRIDAYS: Informational, interactive sessions hosted by the Fair Housing Project of CVOEO with guests from communities and organizations around the state, 12:30pm, April 7, 14, and 21 via Zoom.
- TENANTS RIGHTS & FAIR HOUSING WORKSHOPS: Opportunities for the general public, housing and service providers, landlords, and others to learn about fair housing and renters’ rights and responsibilities and discuss current issues. In-person and virtual sessions in Burlington, Groton, Lyndonville, South Burlington, Winooski, and White River Junction.
- LIBRARY ACTIVITIES: Book discussions, StoryWalks®, art activities, Fair Housing drop-in sessions with the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, and other community events at participating libraries all over the state in partnership with the VT Department of Libraries.
- HeART & HOME COMMUNITY ART PROJECT: Art activities and exhibits at libraries and housing and community sites. It’s easy to join this all-ages art project! 1) Pick up an art kit at CVOEO or participating sites or download the creative prompts and use your own materials; 2) Create a drawing, collage, painting, photo, sculpture, comic, or any other type of art; and 3) Share a photo of your creation to be added to the online community gallery and be entered in a prize drawing. Send photos to email@example.com.
Fair Housing is the right to equal opportunity in housing choice and the right to rent or buy a dwelling free from discrimination. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and family status. Vermont has additional protections based on age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, receipt of public assistance, being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and denial of development permitting based on the income of prospective residents.
For more information about fair housing in Vermont, visit www.cvoeo.org/FHP or email firstname.lastname@example.org.