FHANC Announces Collaboration with the City of Richmond and Just Cities, LLC to Work to Analyze Housing Challenges and Recommend Comprehensive Policy Solutions Following a Historic Settlement with Fannie Mae Focused on Rebuilding Communities of Color
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Contact: Caroline Peattie, Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California (415) 483-7552, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California Announces Collaboration with the City of Richmond and Just Cities, LLC to Work to Analyze Housing Challenges and Recommend Comprehensive Policy Solutions Following a Historic Settlement with Fannie Mae Focused on Rebuilding Communities of Color
San Rafael, CA — As of September 18, 2023, Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California (FHANC) has announced a collaboration with Just Cities, LLC, and the City of Richmond. The partnership aims to create a Housing Equity Roadmap for Richmond, funded by a settlement with Fannie Mae (formally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association). The settlement addresses allegations that Fannie Mae unfairly treated foreclosed homes in communities of color. Although the settlement has nationwide implications, the funds received by FHANC will specifically target the City of Richmond.
FHANC, through its partner, Just Cities, LLC will develop comprehensive anti-displacement, affordable housing, and healthy housing policies for the City of Richmond. “I am really pleased that we can apply settlement funds toward the revitalization of the City of Richmond,” said Caroline Peattie, Executive Director of Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California. “We are excited that the commitments Fannie Mae made in the settlement allow us to analyze housing challenges and recommend comprehensive policy solutions to the City of Richmond. Though we’ve been working to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing in multiple jurisdictions for many years.” Just Cities had been working to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing too. Staff were consultants to the City of Richmond when the City prepared its most recent Housing Element. Just Cities’ research was included in the Housing Element. The Richmond City Council voted and approved another contract for Just Cities to continue its transformative community planning work in Richmond by developing a Housing Equity Roadmap (HER). The HER will serve as an action plan for the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Meaningful Actions with immediate and long-term housing and anti-displacement policy solutions. "I am really excited to be part of this collaboration where we rely on the local wisdom of community members to combat the local housing crisis. While our collaborative is diverse, we all want to make Richmond a better place to live, while making it easier for Richmond residents to live and thrive," said Mariel Mendoza, Community-Centered Policy and Research Manager of Just Cities.
“The foreclosure crisis of the mid-2000s had a significant impact on Richmond,” said Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez. “It's fitting that this settlement will funnel investment back into our community, enabling us to put essential housing policies and programs in place. Our aim is to ensure that every resident of Richmond has the opportunity for affordable, secure, and dignified living conditions.”
About Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California
Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California is a non-profit organization serving several Bay Area counties that provides free counseling, enforcement, mediation, and legal or administrative referrals to persons experiencing housing discrimination. Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California also offers foreclosure prevention counseling, pre-purchase education, seminars to help housing providers fully understand fair housing law, and education programs for tenants and the community at large. Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California is a HUD -Certified Housing Counseling Agency. Please visit www.fairhousingnorcal.org and submit an intake form or call Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California at (415) 457 -5025 or TDD: (800) 735 -2922 for more information.
About Just Cities
Just Cities LLC advances racial justice in public policy and urban planning through community-centered design and community engagement. Staff organize collaborative initiatives with marginalized residents that are directly impacted by zoning policies, government leaders, and other stakeholders to tackle the racial and social justice issues facing Bay Area and California cities including homelessness, displacement, and re-entry justice. Just Cities staff solve social and economic injustice by addressing the root causes of systemic injustice, designing, and implementing policy change solutions. Their work has led to local, statewide, and national best practice policies, including an anti-displacement safety fund for struggling low-income tenants and homeowners that are at risk for displacement, homeless prevention funds for Alameda County and the City of Richmond, and the Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap, which is a national model for comprehensive anti-displacement, affordable housing, and health housing policies adopted by the City of Oakland. Please visit https://www.justcitiesllc.com/.
About the City of Richmond
Located in West Contra Costa County along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, Richmond was established under its first charter in 1908. The city is home to a diverse population of over 110,000 residents, featuring a mix of ethnic backgrounds that include sizable African American, Hispanic, and Asian communities. The city is easily accessible, with two major highways, an Amtrak/BART station, and a ferry terminal. Over the years, Richmond has been proactive in adopting policies aimed at reducing the displacement of our residents. Richmond voters have approved ballot initiatives such as Measure L and Measure P, which focus on implementing rent control and establishing rent control caps.
In an effort to improve quality of life and provide fair outcomes for all Richmond residents regardless of race, the City must hold itself accountable to acknowledge and correct disparities caused by a history of inequitable policy decisions. The goal is to integrate a racial equity lens into all city services to foster a healthy and inclusive community for all.