Fair Housing Board Mediating Disputes between Residents and Landlords
Saturday, February, 24, 2018
Renters trying to find housing can turn to the mediation program offered by Marietta’s Fair Housing Board for assistance.
One couple looking for housing, Deena Arnold and Bruce Gucker, were told to file a complaint and the board will help them pursue mediation. According to board chairman Felix Burrows, “This board is based on trying to help both residents and home providers,” he said. “Our goal is to protect people from discrimination in all its forms. How else do we take care of people and show Marietta is a loving and compassionate city?”
For Arnold and Gucker, this means moving the couple from a hotel room to more permanent housing. The board is touting the example as a way to show the public the fair housing board is working hard to mediate solutions without regard for politics or for the economic status of renters.
The board was formed in the 1970s under the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, but it had been a few years since it had met. According to the board’s secretary, the board has operated for several years with a very small budget. Current goals include educating the community on fair housing and protecting the rights of individuals when it comes to housing. The board is also addressing four major problems concerning housing in the area: lock of kitchen facilities in rental units, lack of complete plumbing, overcrowding, and dealing with a cost-burdened household.
The board also oversees the mediation of housing disputes and helps landlords and tenants resolve problems before eviction becomes necessary.