Fair Housing Policy
OPAL Community Land Trust’s trustees and staff wish to ensure fair and equal housing opportunities and to affirmatively further fair housing. Towards this end, OPAL strives to advertise its programs through a wide range of means with the goal of reaching the broadest possible range of potential homebuyers and rental tenants.
This policy complements other policies and practices, including OPAL’s Personnel Policies and Homebuyer Eligibility and Qualification Policy.
Equal consideration is a fundamental principle at OPAL, where access to housing is based upon personal capabilities and qualification without discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, familial status, age, ethnic background, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status, or being a recipient of public assistance, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.
OPAL will conduct the application process in a manner that all persons interested in housing will be treated fairly, equally and consistently.
OPAL shall strive to have the homebuyers and rental tenants of its homes represent at a minimum the demographic characteristics of Orcas Island and San Juan County.
The Fair Housing logo shall be prominently displayed on OPAL’s website, on applications for housing, on flyers, and in advertisements for rental apartments or houses for sale.
OPAL shall market its homes on the internet, in local newspapers, and by placing flyers on bulletin boards throughout the island. Ads or flyers shall be posted quarterly. Ads or flyers may be specific for a “home for sale” or more general to “apply for housing”. Because OPAL maintains a list of pre-qualified buyers, it is common that when a home comes up for sale, there will already be an eligible purchaser ready to purchase. It may not, therefore, be necessary to advertise a specific home for sale at the point in time that it becomes available. For that reason, OPAL may choose, instead to advertise through a more general advertisement to “apply for housing”.
OPAL staff and trustees shall participate regularly in community service networks and attend meetings of civic groups with the goal of promoting OPAL’s housing program.
OPAL will not deny a person admission to housing, subject a person to segregation or disparate treatment, restrict a person’s access to any benefit enjoyed by others in connection to the housing program, treat a person differently in determining eligibility or other requirements for admission, deny a person access to the same level of services, or deny a person the opportunity to participate in a planning or advisory group which is an integral part of the housing program.
OPAL will not intimidate, threaten or take any retaliatory action against any applicant or tenant because of a person’s participation in civil rights activities or assertions of civil rights.
OPAL will make every reasonable accommodation for disabled persons to gain access to OPAL’s offices and has ensured compliance of OPAL’s business address under Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
OPAL will make sure that all employees who are involved in the admissions and property management process are familiar with Office of Fair Housing requirements, HUD non-discrimination requirements and the Human Rights Commission, Fair Housing determinations.