Who We Are
Fair Housing Advocacy Born Out of Necessity
The Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) formed in 1990 with the help of the Oregon Legal Services Corporation and spearheaded by Phil Yates, who put the initial grant proposals together to fund our work.
Our first projects included conducting fair housing tests and investigating complaints called into a hotline. In our first year, we referred three racially based complaints and four based on national origin to a private attorney or Oregon Legal Services, with 21 other complaints meriting follow-up.
As our stature grew in the housing community, FHCO introduced educational opportunities to inform stakeholders about fair housing issues statewide, including one of our most popular initiatives — our historic bus tours — in 2008. These initiatives corresponded to our long-term mission to eliminate the root causes of illegal housing discrimination and promote the benefits of fair housing for all Oregonians.
Today, we assist over 180 housing consumers annually who reach out to us regarding an illegal housing discrimination issue and offer over 100 training and outreach activities statewide to landlords, real estate professionals, and governmental and social service agencies. We have deepened our involvement in rural communities, hiring staff in these areas to identify acts of discrimination and develop ongoing strategies to address issues. We also advocate for developing housing that meets the needs of all community members.
Future Fair Housing Initiatives
We are in the process of creating a multisession diversity, equity, and inclusion series that discusses the disparities we see today through a civil rights and fair housing lens. We are deepening our work with homebuyers to understand their rights if they face housing discrimination from lenders, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and insurance agents; and providing technical assistance to homeowner associations, adult foster care providers, and assisted living facilities to help them understand their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.