FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Renter’s rights, evictions, and more were the topics of discussion Wednesday morning at the 2022 Fair Housing Summit at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Conference Center.

The summit, hosted by the City of Fort Wayne’s Metropolitan Human Relations Commission and the Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services, featured Pulitzer Prize winner, Dr. Matthew Desmond, as the keynote speaker. According to a release from the event organizers, Desmond’s bestseller Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City have effectively changed the understanding of inequity and economic exploitation in America.

Desmond is also the founder and Principal Investigator of Princeton’s Eviction Lab. The lab was launched in 2017 following conversations with renters and policymakers in an effort to answer questions about residential instability, forced moves, and poverty in America.

“This event is so important to us because we know how imperative it is for us to equip our community advocates, housing providers, realtors, elected officials, and citizens with the tools and knowledge to address fair housing in our community,” said Nikki Quintana, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission.  

The city said more than 350 people registered for the event. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from fair housing experts during various workshops which included the following:

  • Fair Housing Disability Legal Update
  • Lending Discrimination
  • Criminal History as a Fair Housing Issue
  • Blight to Bright – Transforming Neighborhood “Liabilities” into Community Assets
  • Housing Displacement
  • Housing and the Racial Wealth Gap

“We know that housing choice allows families to build social capital and connections that lead to better opportunities,” said Kelly Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. “That is why events that focus on fair housing are so important.”