For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2012
National Fair Housing Month recogized
Freeholders salute teachers who manage annual poster contest
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders presented certificates of appreciation to three elementary school teachers who have created awareness about fair housing and the elimination of housing discrimination by encouraging student participation in the county’s annual Fair Housing Poster Contest.
Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone presented certificates to Irina Kinley from the Long Branch Middle School and Irene Sullivan from St. Veronica Catholic School in Howell. Mary DeCotis, a teacher at Belmar Elementary School, was unable to attend. Each year, the Fair Housing Board publishes a calendar with the winning drawings.
“These teachers have demonstrated the importance of educating our youth about an issue facing many of our residents and giving students a chance to express their thoughts in their artwork,” Arnone said. “I look forward to seeing the student artwork every year.”
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders created the Fair Housing Office and appointed the first Fair Housing Board in 1968. The office provides policy and guidance related to compliance with state and federal fair housing laws and regulations that protect the rights of all residents.
The freeholders also presented a proclamation to Mary Lee Gilmore, the county’s Fair Housing Officer, marking April as Fair Housing Month.
“Fair housing is a serious matter, and Mary is the moving force behind this program,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County Planning Board. “The calendar comes out every year with the renderings of the students and they are wonderful. It reminds us all of how important this issue is.”
The Federal Fair Housing Act governs housing discrimination and includes seven protected classes: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. New Jersey is one of several states that also includes sexual orientation as a protected class.
The Monmouth County Fair Housing Board’s meetings are held the third Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. from January through October in the Hall of Records Annex, 2nd floor Planning Board Conference Room. Public participation is welcome.
For more information or assistance with fair housing issues, residents can contact the Monmouth County Planning Board’s Fair Housing Office at 732-431-7490 or by email at Mary.Gilmore@co.monmouth.nj.us.
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