The objective of this plan is to ensure the execution of Fair Housing Resource Center, Inc. (FHRC) essential functions during any crisis and to provide for the safety and well-being of employees during any emergency in which the agency’s building or other occupied space is threatened or not accessible. Specific objectives include:

  • Ensuring the continuous performance of essential functions during an emergency;
  • Protecting essential facilities, equipment, vital records, and other assets;
  • Reducing or mitigating disruptions to operations;
  • Reducing loss of life and minimizing damage and losses; and
  • Achieving a timely and orderly recovery from an emergency and resumption of full service to customers

The purpose of this COOP Plan is to provide direction and to ensure that FHRC is able to continue to provide services and further its mission of safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities free from discrimination for those times when there is a disruption of regular service capabilities. For the most part, this COOP is designed to enable FHRC and its advocates to continue to operate after natural disasters, minor events, and emergency shutdowns that affect thousands of businesses and organizations. These types of events include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • 2006 hurricane season (10 major storms, including Ernesto)
  • 2005 hurricane season (six major storms, including Katrina and Rita)
  • 2004 hurricane season (five major storms)
  • Bridge closures and bridge collapses
  • Tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes
  • Broken water mains and floods
  • Chemical spills
  • Terrorist or man-made disaster
  • Power outages
  • Computer System Shut-down
  • Pandemics

Although the effects of an emergency cannot be predicted, planning for operations under such conditions can mitigate the effects of the emergency on the agency’s mission, employees, facilities, and general public.

This COOP Plan will describe how FHRC will sustain its capability to perform critical functions during and after a disruption in internal operations, whether caused by severe weather, natural or man-made disasters, or terrorists attack. This COOP Plan ensures that FHRC:

  • Has the capability to implement the COOP Plan both with and without warning;
  • Is able to perform essential functions immediately after activation of the COOP Plan within a seven (7) day period;
  • Is able to maintain critical functions for 15–30 days or as long as necessary;
  • Includes regularly scheduled testing, training, and exercising of agency personnel and other stakeholders; and
  • Includes regularly scheduled testing of equipment, systems, processes, and procedures used to support the agency during an event requiring the activation of the COOP Plan.


The Fair Housing Resource Center (FHRC), Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that offers several housing programs that benefit residents of Lake County, Ohio and surrounding areas, such as Ashtabula and Geauga Counties. The mission of Fair Housing Resource Center is to promote equal housing opportunities for all persons and to advocate for fair housing and diversity in Lake County and surrounding communities through the education and involvement of the public, the governments, and the business community.  FHRC is a Housing Counseling Agency certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and provides various types of counseling, such as rental, homeownership counseling (foreclosure prevention, predatory lending, home financing and repairs, and pre-purchase), and homelessness counseling.

As stated above, FHRC offers various types of counseling to individuals within the Lake, Ashtabula and Geauga County area.   Therefore, the agency has several “Essential Functions” that must be continued under any and all circumstances. Some of the “Essential Functions” includes, but are not limited to the following:

  • Fair Housing Counseling;
  • Rental Counseling;
  • Loss Mitigation Counseling; and
  • Education and Outreach Initiatives.

Based on the categories above, below is a detailed description of the agency’s services that are essential to the residents and local government within the Tri-County area.

Housing Counseling:

FHRC is a Housing Counseling agency which has been is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since 2003.  Our agency can assist clients seeking help with various housing issues such as landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosure prevention, fair housing, pre-purchase counseling, mortgage fraud and other housing issues.

Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Service:

FHRC’s trained fair housing staff receives complaints, conducts appropriate investigations, and conducts audits involving fair housing violations.  FHRC assists clients in asserting their legal rights involving discrimination in housing and guides clients through the administrative complaint process and/or federal or state court.

Systemic/Complaint-based Testing Program:

Under some programs, FHRC conducts random systemic audits of area housing providers.  These audits have included rental testing, sales testing, accessibility/new construction evaluations, lending testing and home owner’s insurance testing.

Reasonable Accommodation/Modification Requests:

FHRC assists disabled individuals with their requests to their housing providers to make reasonable accommodations to policies and/or modifications to their units.  FHRC provides this service when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a disability the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.

Fair Housing Impediments Analyses:

FHRC provides assistance with maintaining and updating the analysis of local community fair housing needs and assists in the development of a consolidated plan to address fair housing responsibilities for both Lake County and the City of Mentor.

Landlord/Tenant Hotline:

FHRC provides landlords and tenants with assistance in addressing their rights and responsibilities under Ohio Landlord Tenant Laws.  These services include:  questions regarding lease contracts, security deposit refunds, repair issues, eviction concerns, and mediation of disputes between parties.

Emergency Financial Rental Assistance:

FHRC has several emergency financial assistance programs that help income eligible households with their ability to pay housing related costs.  The purpose of this serves is to prevent residents from experiencing homelessness and preserve their basic need of housing.  FHRC’s programs exist solely at the discretion of the funders.  Below are the two programs that the agency administered during the course of the last year are as follows:

  • Tenant Based Rental Subsidy (TBRA):

FHRC provides eligible renters with emergency cash assistance payment to help prevent homelessness.  Qualified renters can receive up to $2,250 to go towards their rental delinquency. FHRC pays up to 70% of the rental payment for the 1st month, 60% for the 2nd month and 50% for the 3rd month.

  • 1st Month Rental Assistance Program:

FHRC provides eligible renters with emergency cash assistance payment to assist them in securing housing and to prevent homelessness.  Qualified renters can receive up to $1,500 to go towards their security deposit and/or 1st month rental payment.  The funds are from a grant through the Lake County Commissioners HOME Investment Partnership Program

  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program

FHRC can assist individuals facing financial hardship who cannot afford to pay their rent. This program can assist residents with paying 3 months past due rent with 1 1-month future. Individuals must be low- to moderate-income households who can show documented proof of financial hardship.

Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Program:

FHRC’s Foreclosure Prevention Counseling program offers loss mitigation counseling on a one-on-one basis by certified Housing Counselors.  FHRC has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling Standards for quality homeownership and counseling services. FHRC assists clients with mortgage workouts, loan modifications, forbearance plans, and repayment plans.

Certified Housing Counselors educate homeowners with refinance options, including many programs, which they may be eligible.  In the instances where a client is unable to retain their home, we educate the client on their options that are available to them. FHRC has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education & Counseling Standards for quality homeownership and counseling services.

Consulting Services:

FHRC provides consultation services to county municipalities, townships, villages, and other organizations to ensure that their programs and activities affirmatively further fair housing under the federal and state fair housing laws.

Seminars and Training:

FHRC develops seminars, training, and workshops based on locally determined goals and objectives that cover numerous topics. The seminars and trainings are conducted for all professionals, governmental bodies, and residents of Lake County and its surrounding communities. Seminar topics include fair housing laws; landlord tenant rights; first time homebuyer program certification; budgeting counseling certification; foreclosure prevention; and among other topics.

Education & Outreach:

FHRC has prepared several publications to educate the public on their various housing rights. The staff also provides articles to publications, operates an agency website, responds to inquiries by the media, and addresses community groups.  These public education efforts empower individuals by informing them of their legal rights and on how to enforce legal remedies.

 If any of the above services were to be interrupted, area residents would not have a resource to contact when they are experiencing difficulties with their landlords and/or are unsure of their rights.  Also, without the assistance of organizations such as ours, many people would face homelessness.  FHRC has seen housing providers take advantage of families and disabled individuals by robbing them of their right to equal and affordable housing.  Furthermore, the persistence of racial segregation, discrimination in the rental and lending markets, inadequate fair housing laws, poverty and a high level of disabled households are detrimental to the health and economic vitality essential to help the County and its officials affirmatively further fair housing in the community.

Therefore, if FHRC is unable to perform its essential functions, FHRC plans to implement strategies outlined in this plan to partner up with the local government, other non-profit agencies, and another fair housing agency (Housing Research and Advocacy Center) to ensure that the residents of the Tri-County area can still reach the services of FHRC.  FHRC will ensure that residents will still be able to contact FHRC and obtain its services by phone, fax, internet, in person, etc. by the partnerships mentioned above.



In case of a disaster or emergency situation, FHRC will alternate locations outside of the primary place of business for agency that will be available for temporary relocation of the agency’s services.  FHRC will first try to relocate its office at the Lake County Administration Building but will try to partner with other fair housing agencies in the area (Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research) to try to combine agency resources and services.  A list of possible locations within specified miles from the agency are listed below for the agency planned relocation sites.

Within five miles of present site:              Lake County Administration Building               

10 miles from present site:                                  City of Wickliffe – City Hall                  

50 miles from present site:                      Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research    

100 miles from present site:                    Fair Housing Advocates Association                   

Over 100 miles from present site:                        Toledo Fair Housing Center                    

Offsite via remote access:           Exempt Personnel Laptops                                             

Operations to be performed at this site:     To ensure the completion of essential functions of the agency

Employees to be located at this site:                     Exempt Essential Personnel