The Fair Housing Subcommittee of the Brookline Commission for Diversity, Inclusion & Community Relations, provides oversight and consultation to the Town regarding Fair Housing Law compliancy within Brookline. The subcommittee is in the process of producing an interview-based video and needs volunteers who are willing to share their experiences.

The Brookline Fair Housing video will memorialize the experiences of people who believe they have been victims of discrimination attempting to rent or purchase a home either recently or in the past. The video will also include people who have witnessed or work with individuals that faced discriminatory housing practices. The Fair Housing Subcommittee is looking for volunteers who are willing to be interviewed for this video.

The goal of the Brookline Fair Housing Subcommittee video is to allow Brookline residents and others the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of fellow community members who have faced discrimination to elicit empathy, understanding, respect, and change.

The Fair Housing Subcommittee is being chaired by Sandy Batchelder and includes members Dwaign Tyndal, Robert Lepson, Jessica Chicco and David Guzman. The subcommittee during its two-year life has researched fair housing issues in Brookline, worked with Town officials engaged in these issues, conducted a training session, and it is currently researching impediments to affordable housing that may frustrate Brookline’s ability to achieve a more diverse community.

“The purpose of the video is to reach a larger audience who need to know the protections afforded by the fair housing laws,” said Brookline Fair Housing Committee chairman Sandy Batchelder. “Tenants and homebuyers are unlikely to pick up brochures or attend training sessions and may be ignorant of what constitutes discrimination or unfair treatment of protected classes. To produce an attractive professional video we need Brookline residents to tell stories about things that have happened to them or others that are violations of the fair housing laws.  The video would be widely circulated and accompanied by information on where to go to seek remedies for violations.”

“A video account that depicts the real-life experiences of individuals and families who were victims of unfair housing practice is important in several ways,” said Dr. Lloyd Gellineau, Brookline director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations. “One, it allows audiences to see that unfair housing practices can have profound negative impacts that extend beyond housing security. Two, it allows the audience to see concrete examples of fair housing issues that will serve to reinforce the concepts of Fair Housing Law. Three, it will allow the audience to evaluate their housing experiences whether they are landlords, realtors, or tenants regarding fair housing practice.”

R. Harvey Bravman will produce the Fair Housing video. Bravman is the founder of the Brookline Youth Awards, which serves as an opportunity for Brookline residents to hear about the character, challenges, and dreams of its young people through the power and intimacy of video interviews. Bravman also produced and directed Soul Witness, The Brookline Holocaust Witness Project, which has sold out the Coolidge Corner Theatre three times with upcoming screenings now being scheduled throughout New England.

Do you believe that you faced discrimination when attempting to buy or rent housing in Brookline?

Have you witnessed or work with individuals that faced discriminatory housing practices?

If the answers to either of these questions are yes and you would like to take part in the Fair Housing video, please contact:

Brookline Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Lloyd Gellineau

Email: lgellineau@brooklinema.gov

Phone: 617-730-2326

Brookline Commission for Diversity, Inclusion & Community Relations Mission Statement
Support a welcoming environment by encouraging cooperation, tolerance, and respect among and by all persons who come in contact with the Town of Brookline (i.e., visitors, residents, employers, employees etc.) by advancing, promoting and advocating for the human and civil rights of all through education, awareness, outreach and advocacy.

The goal of the Commission is to be instrumental in eliminating discriminatory barriers to work, education and housing opportunities within the Town of Brookline.  It encourages community awareness and understanding of cultural difference through the development of various activities including education programs and cultural events.  The Commission is involved with Town Departments and Commissions to take meaningful steps to increase diversity, inclusion, and respect in the Town’s workforce. It is also active in resolving and monitoring discrimination claims, and it provides consultation to aggrieved parties. The Commission also provides oversight regarding program and services that serve Brookline’s Youth.