Fair Housing and Common Sense

…It’s Not So Complicated After All

How many of you have tried to assemble a newly purchased toy, computer system or piece of equipment WITHOUT reading the instructions? The answer is: most of us! Then when frustration sets in, when we suffer, we decide to study the right way to accomplish the task. Unfortunately we tend to treat fair housing laws and guidelines exactly the same way…we wait until we are in trouble to “read the directions.” Just ask anyone who has had a complaint or lawsuit filed against them how smart they are NOW. Wouldn’t it make more common sense to learn how to prevent the suffering in the first place, rather than learning how to prevent it happening again? So many of the fair housing questions asked in seminars have simple common sense answers. Here are a few for you to mull over: “Why can’t we have separate swimming pool hours for the adults, like “no children allowed on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am until 3 pm.”??? Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? It would give the grown ups time to float and nap and not get splashed…. The common sense answer, the “ah hah” experience happens when we respond “would you have separate pool hours like ‘no Jews (or blacks or Chinese or handicapped people’) in the pool Saturday and Sunday from 10 until 3?” The answer is always a resounding “NO, that would be illegal.” Well, children have the EXACT protected status as race, color, national origin, religion, handicapped and gender. It’s just common sense! Next question…”Can we limit the number of occupants by calling a two bedroom a one bedroom den? ” HUD continues to look closely at “sleeping spaces” that are not actually bedrooms. So why do we think they would miss an actual bedroom that is being called something else? A rose is a rose by any other name. Plus common sense tells me that in a soft market we could fill a lot of vacancies if we allowed more small persons not yet walking to share the bedroom with their parents! Sometimes the lack of common sense backfires on us and costs us money! And last for today…”Why can’t we put all the people with kids downstairs and all our older residents upstairs? It would sure keep the peace.” Here we go again…would you have a policy that all Hispanic people must live downstairs? Of course not…and kids have the same protected status! Sometimes the answers to our fair housing questions are as simple as asking ourselves “Does that make COMMON sense to me?”

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Fair Housing is a prominent part of our daily lives, and as multifamily professionals we are aware of  that to the point of being wary. How much do you really know about Fair Housing, and examine if you are letting fear or lack of knowledge get in the way of doing your best work? This show is designed to get you up to speed on fair housing and equip you with the confidence to perform effectively within the boundaries of these important laws! Join one of our industry’s most experienced authorities Anne Sadovsky and many special guests as we explore real-life case studies, lessons learned, success stories, and potential pitfalls on topics including: the importance of consistency and documentation; what is (and isn’t) a protected class; the ins-and-outs of accessibility; observing occupancy standards; the skinny on steering; guidance on companion and assist animals, latest findings and much more!  Always exciting and educational…stay updated and educated on this very important part of your job!

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Anne Sadovsky, CSP (a Certified Speaking Professional by The National Speakers Association) is the owner of a Dallas based marketing, consulting and seminar firm – where she and her associates provide training, keynotes and counsel to a variety of industries, businesses and associations. Clients come from a variety of fields including housing, medical, technology, churches, hospitality, women’s groups, and education. She is the former Vice President of Marketing and Education of Lincoln Property Company. Her expertise in multifamily housing (since 1968!) makes her a sought after consultant and trainer. As a consultant Anne has literally saved and made apartment owners and developers millions of dollars. Her training tapes and seminars have educated thousands. She has officially flown more than one million miles in order to share her wisdom and wit. Anne is a widely published author and a popular guest on radio and television talk shows nationally. Her success story has been written about in many newspapers and magazines including Money Magazine, Texas Business and Ladies Home Journal. Mirabella Magazine listed her as one of the One Thousand Women of the 90′s, along with Mother Teresa and Oprah Winfrey. She is affiliated with numerous business and professional organizations including the National Speakers Association where she holds the prestigious designation of Certified Speaking Professional. She has earned a Texas Real Estate license, and is a CAM, CAPS, And RAM, along with many other designations and honorary positions in the industry. Anne is one of the most astute trainers in Fair Housing and Diversity in the industry. Hundreds of thousands of people have been inspired and challenged by Anne’s story. Her message is common sense, entertaining, and enlightening. She makes a difference and helps create success in both business and personal lives. She is truly the first lady of the apartment industry.

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