April Is Fair Housing Month – Celebrate Inclusive Communities

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, library events, the all-ages HeART & Home Community Art Project, and an art contest and exhibit.

See below for a sampling of this year’s Fair Housing Month events. The full schedule and registration links are at https://fairhousingmonthvt.org. For more information, email fhp@cvoeo.org.
• 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 15, 22, and 29 via Zoom.
• WORKSHOPS & TRAININGS: Opportunities for the general public, housing and service providers, landlords, and others to learn about fair housing rights and responsibilities and discuss current issues.
• LIBRARY ACTIVITIES: Book discussions, StoryWalks®, HeART & Home art activities, and other community events at participating libraries all over the state in partnership with the VT Department of Libraries.
• HeART & HOME COMMUNITY ART PROJECT: It’s easy to join this all-ages art project! 1) Pick up an art kit at CVOEO or participating local libraries 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 fhp@cvoeo.org or post to social media using #fairhousingmonthvt and tag @thrivingcommunitiesvt on Facebook and Instagram or @vtfairhousing on Twitter. All participants are entered to win prizes and invited to join the April 26 online Artist Reception.
• ART CONTEST & EXHIBIT: Arts So Wonderful contest and exhibit on the theme of “What makes a thriving, inclusive community?” Open to all ages, with cash prizes for youth and adults. The submission deadline is April 24 with an opening reception at the gallery in South Burlington on April 29. More info at https://fairhousingmonthvt.org/asw-x-cvoeo-art-contest.

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.

The Fair Housing Project of CVOEO coordinates April Fair Housing Month activities in collaboration with Vermont Department of Libraries, Vermont Library Association, ONE Arts Community School, Arts So Wonderful, Burlington City Arts, Vermont Legal Aid, Vermont Human Rights Commission, Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, CEDO, and other partners. These activities are made possible with the support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Farrell Properties, Vermont State Housing Authority, Redstone, Main Street Landing, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Evernorth, Cathedral Square, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Pomerleau Real Estate, and other sponsors. Art kits and library activities are supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, through the Library Service and Technology Act as administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries.