Undergraduate Fair Housing/Fair Lending Course
The Chicago metropolitan area contains diverse populations protected under the Fair Housing Act. The City of Chicago Fair Housing Plan points out that "[l]landlords and building owners continue to discriminate against individuals and families based on race, color, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, parental status, military discharge status, marital status, source of income, or sexual orientation." Surrounding counties have also identified housing problems. Minority groups in the region continue to experience barriers to home ownership, and the foreclosure crisis is impacting families throughout the region. Informed and dedicated advocates and workers are needed to address these fair housing issues.
The Fair Housing/Fair Lending course aims to familiarize college and university students with fair housing law and enforcement and lending discrimination and to inspire them to pursue careers in fair housing enforcement and investigation. The program was created to increase public awareness about the importance of equal opportunity in housing and to share information regarding fair housing and fair lending obligations.
The Educational Experience
The Fair Housing/Fair Lending course teaches selected college and university students in the Chicago metropolitan area about federal, state, and local laws and regulations that assist in eliminating discrimination in housing and preserving homes for vulnerable persons. Participants are given an overview of fair housing law, law enforcement, land use and zoning, fair lending practices, fair housing investigations and testing, and fair housing alternative dispute mechanisms. The course consists of lectures, group discussions, presentations by guest experts and students. Active student participation is integral. Students are also trained to analyze, detect, and address discriminatory housing practices. The course will end with a discussion about careers in civil rights and fair housing.
Students can earn up to 3 credits in the 14-week course depending upon their colleges or universities policies. Students will be required as part of the course to make a presentation on fair housing law at their home institutions or in the community.
How This Internship Benefits You
Students selected to participate in the Fair Housing/Fair Lending course will:
- learn about fair housing and related civil rights issues
- make a presentation at their home college or university or in the community about fair housing or fair lending issues
- meet with experts in the field and attend events sponsored by local fair housing agencies and organizations
- enhance interpersonal and group presentation skills
- earn up to 3 hours of academic credit if approved by their home institution
Note: Due to ABA rules prohibiting the granting of credit towards a juris doctor before a student has taken the LSAT and been admitted to the law school, the credits awarded by this course may not be used towards a juris doctor.
How Your Service Benefits the Community
The capstone experience required of each participant is a presentation at their home college or university or community open to interested students, faculty, and staff, the general public, and all protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.