FHANC offers fair housing counseling services to homeowners and renters located in the counties of Marin and Sonoma (with the exception of the city of Petaluma), as well as the cities of Fairfield and Vallejo, who have experienced discrimination based on their membership in a protected class. We also offer Foreclosure Prevention and Pre-Purchase Education/Counseling services to homeowners in the Bay Area.
FHANC Statistics: Fiscal Year 2020-2021
Between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, FHANC provided counseling or education to 2,930 tenants, homeowners, homebuyers, housing providers, children, social service providers, and advocates across Marin, Sonoma, and Solano counties and beyond.
FHANC transitioned to remote work in March 2020 and continues to serve clients virtually. Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California remains open and connected to the community to provide referrals, resources, and advocacy for those who have been impacted by the pandemic. For up-to-date information regarding eviction moratoria and funds available for both renters and homeowners, please visit our COVID resources page.
Of the fair housing clients assisted by FHANC last year, 94% of clients were extremely low, very low, or low income. In addition, 27% were Latinx, 13% of whom spoke no English, and 20% were Black/African-American.
By The Numbers
Please note that some complaints alleged discrimination on the basis of multiple protected classes.
FHANC Success Stories & Testimonials
What Our Clients Say:
- "I just want to thank you very much for your assistance. You have done a wonderful job and brought me some relief.
I cannot thank you enough. You are extremely helpful and I will recommend your services to others. You do great work." (Fair housing client)
- “Yay...such a relief! All delinquent mortgage payments were made...well ahead of the deadline…THANK YOU again, so much, for all your advocacy help. Your assistance and support were immeasurable and greatly valued.
YOU ROCK!” (Foreclosure prevention client - Vallejo, CA)
- "This was one of the best fair housing conferences I have witnessed ever. The presentations were all different but fit together perfectly. Your dialog about the appraisal investigations was fantastic. This level of specificity brings home the stakes of fair housing better than anything." (Fair Housing Conference 2021 attendee)
A man called FHANC, expressing trouble finding a safe and permanent home after losing his family home in the 2017 Tubbs Fire. In the years after the fire, he moved several times and in 2020, rented a room – a converted garage – at a home in Petaluma. He was employed full-time, working remotely due to the pandemic. In the middle of a virtual session he became ill and unresponsive, due to a physical disability which occasionally causes him to lose consciousness and sometimes requires medical attention. His landlord threatened to evict him after the first time an ambulance was called to assist him when he became unresponsive. The second time, the landlord left an unlawful notice on his door.
The client approached FHANC for advice and counseling after realizing how expensive it would be to retain a private lawyer.
“I would not have gotten this far without [FHANC],” he told a staff member at FHANC. “I knew I had rights, but the idea is so foreign. If I had to hire a lawyer or do everything myself, I would have chickened out. I couldn’t afford all that.”
FHANC’s housing counselor was able to assist him file a housing discrimination complaint with HUD and represented him throughout the process, advocating on his behalf during the HUD investigation. The client ultimately moved out of the hostile environment and the case settled for $8,000 in damages.
A client with mental disabilities – including paranoia, auditory hallucinations, anxiety, and depression – reached out to FHANC for assistance after receiving a 60-day termination notice from his landlord. The notice alleged various lease violations including verbal altercations with other tenants and property damage.
FHANC wrote a letter to his landlord to request as a reasonable accommodation that the notice be rescinded, as the underlying reasons for the termination were directly related to his disabilities and the client was actively taking steps to re-engage in his mental health treatment and reduce the risk of problematic behavior in the future. As a result of FHANC’s advocacy, his request was granted and he was able to stay in his home.
FHANC received a call from a homeowner in May of 2021 who had been in a COVID forbearance with a conventional loan since March 2020. It was due to expire in June 2021. Although self-employed, his housing ratio was 30% when he called, and he was in good shape to leave the forbearance. The servicer had offered the household a trial modification with a substantially lower payment.
However, the terms included extending the loan and a large balloon payment, which he did not want. After discussing with FHANC's counselor, the homeowner requested a return to his original payment and have the $67,000 delinquency deferred. The lender took the unusual step in the case of a conventional loan, and granted his request. He accepted this offer and is now in good standing.