Continuing its mission as the fair housing advocate for Soldiers and Families, the Fort Campbell Housing Services Office, or HSO, hosted its annual Landlord Tenant Act and Fair Housing Seminar April 21 in Clarksville.
“During the seminar we educate the local community on the fair housing laws, changes from the Ten-nessee legislative body and Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act,” said Yolanda McDaniel, deputy director, Housing Division, Directorate of Public Works. “We consider all the property owners and landlords in the community to be stakeholders and partners with our HSO as we ensure quality housing for Soldiers and Families.”
For the past 12 years, the HSO has hosted the seminar to keep Tennessee and Kentucky property owners, property managers and landlords informed on the demand of current housing laws as they pertain to Soldiers and Families.
“Laws change yearly and some landlords do not stay current with changes in state and federal laws,” McDaniel said. “The HSO was able to collaborate with the Property Management Association of Clarks-ville and Clarksville Board of Realtors who provided their training facility to accommodate in-person and virtual training to over 50 participants.”
The seminar also provides an opportunity to foster positive connections while establishing open lines of communication between Fort Campbell and the surrounding community that ensures Fort Campbell Soldiers and Families are taken care of, she said.
That connectiveness is something Billi Jo Suiter, president of the Property Management Association of Clarksville, appreciates, as she considers Clarksville part of the greater Fort Campbell military communi-ty.
“I don’t know of a single person who does not take away something valuable from this meeting, Suiter said. “This seminar helps alleviate any misinformation.”
The seminar provides property managers and landlords a better understanding of Soldiers and their Families, while providing the HSO staff insight into the civilian rental property business, she said.
Nathan Lybarger, an attorney with the Law Office of Hall and Associates, Madison, Tennessee, provid-ed attendees with updated information about various topics including the Service Members Civil Relief Act and the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Read more about the Service Members Civil Relief Act on Page A2 of this week’s Fort Campbell Courier.
The event is a partnership with West Tennessee Legal Services of Jackson, Tennessee, represented at the seminar by Vanessa Bullock, housing attorney and fair housing director. The seminar also is un-derwritten through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.
Bullock discussed the Federal Fair Housing Act, with a special focus on HUD’s recent notice laying out the obligations of housing providers under the Federal Housing Administration with respect to re-quests for service animals from individuals with disabilities, as well as reasonable accommodations and modifications.
The HSO serves hundreds of Soldiers annually by mediating issues with property managers and land-lords who may not know the law, McDaniel said. With nearly 70% of Fort Campbell Soldiers and their Families living off post it is the HSO’s responsibility to address any issues they may face.
“The community can best care for our Soldiers when our well-informed partners work to minimize complaints often caused by misinformation,” she said.