Fair Housing Month Series: Documentation is Key!

April is Fair Housing Month, established to honor The Fair Housing Act as well as serve as an annual reminder of the need for equal housing opportunities for all. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 protects people from discrimination when they are applying for a mortgage or housing assistance, renting or buying a house, or participating in other housing-related activities. This Act prohibits discrimination based on disability, race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or familial status. The Fair Housing Act was signed by President Johnson and was passed one week after the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can learn more about The Fair Housing Act at this link. Independence Now is honoring Fair Housing Month with weekly posts of information that can help people looking for housing or on housing waiting lists. There are lots of things that can and need to be taken care of in advance to be ready for a housing opportunity. Additionally, you are always welcome to join our monthly housing seminar. Check our event calendar for the next event.

Documentation is Key!

When you are applying for a rental housing unit there’s a lot of paperwork and documentation needed.  You’re going to need copies of your Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Valid State ID (not expired), bank statements, pay stubs, Social Security award letter and if you have children that will be living with you, you will need documentation on their behalf as well.

Gathering this information and having it readily accessible is very important. Since deadlines are set by housing programs or landlords, we find that we often have a limited amount of time when supporting consumers to apply for a housing unit. Therefore, it is essential to have all the necessary documentation ready to submit in advance. Once you know a housing opportunity is available, getting your most recent bank statement or pay stub doesn’t take long at all. However, if you haven’t already gathered all the items listed above, it can take weeks to obtain it.  It’s a much better plan to get a new copy of your birth certificate or Social Security Card or renew your Maryland ID now than when you have just a short time to submit all your documentation for a housing program or unit.

Below are links for information and processes for some of the important items you will need for housing:

Fair Housing Month Series: Documentation is Key!
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