Bringing Housing Home: Expanded Learning Program

Every April marks Fair Housing Month, a celebration of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act is pivotal piece of Civil Rights legislation and a direct response to the demands of Civil Rights Leaders across our country. This legislation marked the beginning of housing choice for all families, regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Signed into law on April 11th, 1968, seven days after the assassination of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., the Fair Housing Act is what brings us all together here at Eden Housing.

This year youth residents across several Eden Housing properties engaged in Expanded Learning Program enrichment actives that brought housing home and gave youth a holistic understanding of the Fair Housing Act through defining what home and a welcoming community means for them. Youth residents discussed what home meant to them. Phrases like “peaceful,” “family,” “safe,” “love,” and “friends” were at the top of the list when youth responded to the question “What does home mean to you?” As youth built a collective understanding of what the word means to them, they also experienced how Eden Housing embodies home in addition to people, community, and foundation by dissecting Eden's mission statement. The mission of Eden Housing is to build and maintain high-quality, well-managed, service-enhanced affordable housing communities that meet the diverse needs of lower income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities. 

Youth ended their knowledge-gaining month of enrichment activities by participating in the First Annual Expanded Learning Program Fair Housing Poster Contest. Like HUD and other local housing nonprofits and agencies, the Expanded Learning Program facilitated a poster making contest to celebrate Fair Housing Month. Using the theme “Everyone is Welcomed in My Community” youth worked in groups and independently to bring the theme to life, in addition to compete for a grand prize and bragging rights. Our first-place grand prize winner was Muska Z., a first grader from Wexford Way Apartments in Dublin. Muska was presented with a Certificate of Achievement and a Target gift card by Kasey Archey, Eden's Senior Vice President of Property Operations, during an Expanded Learning Program session in early May. Muska showcased her poster and explained that “everyone is really welcomed for who they are no matter what they look like or have.” In addition to a well-deserved ice cream social, youth residents also participated in a Q & A session with Kasey and learned some of the ins and outs of property management and what it takes to keep a property like Wexford Way running smoothly.

Rounding out the winners for our poster making contest are:

◦Second Place (Tied); Muska A., Wexford Way & Naryah M., Ashland Village Apartments

◦Third Place (Collaboration); Sydney M. & Jasmine U. of Owl’s Landing

◦Honorable Mention; Ingrid A., Owl’s Landing


eden housing does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, or any other arbitrary basis.