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How do young people view equality and fair housing? The West Virginia Housing Development Fund hoped to answer some of these questions by sponsoring a poster contest for middle and high school students.

The first place winners were Elizabeth Knox, a senior at Ripley High School, and Makayla McMillion, a sixth grader at Lenore K-8 School in Williamson.

“We want to engage kids at a young age and help them understand not only the significance of fair housing, but why equality is so important,” said Erica Boggess, the Fund’s Acting Executive Director. “Elizabeth’s and Makayla’s posters, and all the artwork we saw, give us hope that the next generation is embracing social justice.”

The Fund is committed to fair housing. Not only do we do all we can to make sure protected classes of citizens know their rights and what to do if they feel like they are being discriminated against, we want to educate landlords, developers, property owners and managers about why compliance matters and their responsibilities.

“We want everyone involved in the process to know their rights and responsibilities and education is one of the most effective tools we have,” said Josh Brown, the Fund’s Fair Housing and Compliance Officer.

The poster contest is part of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission 2014 Fair Housing Conference. Schools from across the Charleston area were asked for submissions.

The West Virginia Housing Development Fund, West Virginia’s affordable mortgage leader, recently sponsored a poster contest to promote fair housing and the importance of social justice.

(The first place winners were Makayla McMillion, left, and Elizabeth Knox, right.)