The Center for Fair Housing, Inc is a full-service fair housing center, whose mission is to advocate for, enforce, and educate the communities we serve on fair housing rights and related laws in order to ensure access to opportunity and promote healthy and inclusive communities.
The Center, through education on relevant fair housing laws, pre and post homeownership counseling, financial literacy, creditworthiness, and public accommodations, continues to support communities to assure fair housing opportunities for all persons. The CFH service area includes the following Alabama counties: Mobile, Baldwin, Monroe, Conecuh, Clarke, Choctaw, Washington, and Escambia.
In 1997, there was a need for a Fair Housing Center in Mobile to rectify past non-compliance with fair housing laws and to begin addressing the obstacles that were preventing fair housing choices and opportunities. The City of Mobile contracted for and accepted an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice in the spring of 1998, which identified existing impediments. Since the formation of the Center for Fair Housing (CFH) the City of Mobile has identified the Center for Fair Housing (CFH) as the lead agency to address the City's fair housing issues.
Local residents who felt they had experienced racial housing discrimination, sought legal counsel to represent them. During those two years, two fair housing cases based on racial discrimination were settled. Lowman et al v. Mitchell Brothers, Inc., settled for $1.8 million. Jackson et al v. Delaney settled for $800,000. In Mitchell Brothers, the U.S. Department of Justice required that the defendant award funding to start the Mobile Fair Housing Center, now the Center for Fair Housing, Inc.. In Delaney, Justice required the defendant to provide CFH with the defendant's promotional and training material to inspect compliance with the Fair Housing Laws.
- Strategic Lawyering/Litigation
- Advancing Related Policy Issues
- Citizen Advocacy and Organizing
In 2011 birthed out of the Housing Justice Initiative, was the Regional Justice Leadership Summit. Through the leadership of the Center for Fair Housing, the Community Advocacy & Housing Justice Policy Initiative was envisioned to connect with disadvantaged communities, address housing and justice issues for low-wealth families and communities. Specifically, the initiative responds to the serious housing challenges that have emerged over the last fifteen plus years in the Southern Gulf Coast region, beginning with the natural climate crisis of Hurricane Katrina and man-made crises like the BP Oil spill.
The Center holds the honor of sustaining the largest and longest-running convening of leadership throughout the Gulf South with its Regional Justice Leadership Summit. The CFH most recently has advanced this work to address the ever-increasing issue of homelessness, lack of affordable housing, and long-standing barriers to Fair Housing Choice within its service area. Through these efforts, CFH and members of the community formed a grassroots Fair Housing Coalition launched in the summer of 2019. This effort furthers the essential work for serious policy and advocacy efforts that would speak directly to decision-makers about the serious housing issues within the region.
Currently, the CFH is governed by a board of directors and employs six employees: Executive Director, Education Outreach Coordinator, Enforcement Coordinator, Accessibility Specialist, Program Assistant, and Housing Counselor Coordinator.