Fair Housing Education
During this report period, July 1, 1993 through June 30, 1994, the Fair Housing educator, Jan Alderton, gave 63 formal presentations around Iowa to 1,413 people, plus unlimited audiences from radio programs, newspaper interviews and television exposures. She distributed 1,857 Fair Housing packets which include 12 to 16 different items and are offered free of charge by the Commission.
She participated in numerous large group conferences throughout the state such as the sixth annual state Landlords Association two-day conference in Cedar Rapids; various area landlord meetings; periodic large group Realtor seminars; sessions for Farmer's Home Administration housing project managers; the state meeting of the Shopper's Guides of Iowa; and the two-state (Iowa/Nebraska) meeting of Assisted Housing Management Association.
The Commission's Fair Housing education and outreach around Iowa during 1993 and 1994 was possible through the provisions of a Fair Housing Initiatives Program grant funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. This grant also allowed us to initiate other educational activities which included:
Fair Housing Ads
The 24 Fair Housing ads developed under the grant are being distributed to newspapers, shoppers and human rights/advocacy agencies. These ads are short blurbs with housing and general human rights information fit into the Fair Housing house logo or the outline of the State of Iowa. Sixteen of these ads were translated into Spanish, Southeast Asian, Russian and SerboCroatian and will be distributed to appropriate agencies. (See pages 12, 18, and 22 for sample advertisements.)
Hate Crime Brochures and Posters
Our English "NO Hate Crimes" brochure and poster are updated to include 1992 legislative changes. New "What are Hate Crimes" brochures in large type, English/Spanish, English/Vietnamese/Laotian, and English/SerboCroation/Russian will soon be available.
The Fair Housing educator includes Hate Crime education in her presentations because the majority of Hate Crimes occur in the area of housing. Housing providers need to be the most knowledgeable persons in every community regarding Hate Crimes and what needs to be done should a Hate Crime occur. The Commission is involved if a Hate Crime also violates a provision of chapter 216 in the Code of Iowa.
Iowa's Hate Crimes Law §729A first passed the Iowa legislature in 1987, was strengthened in 1990 and 1992, and prohibits acts of assault, critninal mischief, arson and trespass committed against a person or a person's property because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, and physical/mental disability and also prohibits these acts because of the person's association with someone with these traits.
In 1994, the Iowa Supreme Court, Slate v. McKnight, 511 NW2d 389, upheld an Iowa statute which allows penalty enhancement (increasing fines for crimes committed because of Hate Crime protected characteristics) by declaring such enhancement does not violate First Amendment Constitutional rights of free speech or thought as the increase is based on nonverbal proscribed conduct or acts that are already illegal public offenses.
Six Year Totals for Fair Housing Education
The Iowa Fair Housing Awareness project began April, 1988, for 18 months. This project included a day-long visit to each of Iowa's 99 county seats by Jan Alderton, the Fair Housing educator in the Fair Housing motor home. Since then Fair Housing education to Iowans has continued through Fair Housing Initiative and Incentive Program grants awarded to the Commission by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Federal grant money received by the Commission for Fair Housing education and outreach since 1988 totals over $376,000. Tle Commission recently submitted additional Fair Housing Initiatives Program grant applications. ne Commission is hopeful one of these applications will be funded to enable us to continue specialized Fair Housing education, outreach and more housing testing programs around Iowa.
Fair Housing educational activity totals for the past six years are impressive:
Number of presentations 463
Number of people in attendance 13,278
Number of Fair Housing packets distributed 10,843