The purpose of MMFHC is to promote fair housing throughout the State of Wisconsin by combating illegal housing discrimination and by creating and maintaining racially and economically integrated housing patterns.
Prompted by prevailing patterns of racial and economic segregation, widespread discrimination in the housing market and an inadequate number of fair housing enforcement agencies, 40 citizens organized the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council (MMFHC) in 1977. A private, non-profit, membership-based organization, MMFHC is comprised of men and women who share a desire to create open and inclusive communities throughout Wisconsin.
In 1983 and 1984, a statewide investigation revealed prevalent discrimination statewide, and MMFHC responded by helping create a network of independent affiliate organizations in other parts of Wisconsin. Over subsequent years, however, locally-based fair housing organizations proved financially unsustainable. Because the need for fair housing services still exists throughout the state, MMFHC opened two satellite offices. The Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison opened its doors in 1998, and the Fair Housing Center of Northeast Wisconsin began its work in 2002.
MMFHC clients experience high levels of success when seeking a legal remedy to discrimination they’ve faced. Of the thousands of complainants we’ve assisted, approximately 600 have chosen to file lawsuits. Of those 600, our clients have prevailed in all but 8 cases.
For four decades, MMFHC has established an impressive record of accomplishments and assumed a leadership role in the struggle for equal opportunity in housing. MMFHC staff provide technical assistance, training, and consultation services to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the National Fair Housing Alliance and private fair housing agencies throughout the United States, and other local, state and federal organizations. MMFHC has recently received two Best Practices Awards from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, MMFHC was honored with a Trail Blazer Award by the Milwaukee Awards in Neighborhood Development Innovation program for its activities to address predatory lending practices.