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Mayor Walsh raises awareness about fair housing in the city of Boston

February 13, 2015

Fair Housing

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Fair Housing and Equity

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced two contests, hosted by the Office of Fair Housing and Equity, to raise awareness about fair housing.  The Fair Housing Art Contest calls for young Bostonians grades 1-12, to submit art work depicting the theme, “Boston Opening Doors for All.” The second contest, the Fair Housing Landlord Award, will recognize landlords and housing providers who not only provide safe, healthy housing, but who also provide housing that is affordable and accessible to all. Winners of the contests will be announced in April, which is Fair Housing month.

“There is no place for discrimination of any kind here in the City of Boston.” said Mayor Walsh. "This contest, in addition to efforts lead by the Office of Fair Housing will help raise awareness the fair housing is an issue Boston is deeply committed to."

“We believe that every month is Fair Housing Month – that is our charge and our mission,” said Dion Irish, Executive Director of the Office of Fair Housing and Equity. “Each April Fair Housing Month is celebrated because of the passage of the Fair Housing Act in April 1968, just days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..”

Before familial status protection was added to federal laws, over 50% of landlords in the United States refused to rent to families with children. Eighty percent of Boston housing was built before 1978 and often contains lead paint. Both the Art Contest and Fair Housing Landlord Award not only educate our youth about the Fair Housing Act, but it also rewards landlords who provide safe and healthy housing.

Applicants for the Art Contest must meet the following criteria: 

  • Student must live in Boston,  grades 1-12
  • Submission must be made between January 16th and March 8th.
  • Submission must depict theme “Opening Doors for All” in the art work
  • Submissions must be photographed and uploaded to www.cityofboston.gov/fairhousing

Thanks to continued sponsorship from the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, the top 9 finalists in each school category will receive prizes such iPad, Tablets, Gift Card, Nikon camera, and more.

Online voting will determine the top 9 finalists in the contest. The voting period will be from March 9th to April 1st. The Boston Fair Housing Commission will determine each finalist’s placing. 

Applicants for the Landlord Award must meet the following criteria: 

  • Nomination may be submitted by tenants, tenant organizations, community groups, and housing providers via www.cityofboston.gov/fairhousing/
  • Nominations will be accepted from February 1st until March 13th, 2015. Self-nominations are accepted
  • Nomination must consist of a statement, not more than one type written page or 300 words, stating why the nominee should be recognized 

For more details on both contests, please visit www.cityofboston.gov/fairhousing.