HUD Awards More than $18 Million to Fight Housing Discrimination
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded 88 grants totaling $17.1 million to recipients in 37 states and the District of Columbia to help fight housing discrimination.
Additionally, HUD awarded $1 million to New America Media, a division of Pacific News Service, to develop the Department's first coordinated national media campaign to educate the public about discriminatory lending. New America Media has engaged the creative team of Impact Strategies, LLC, and Equals Three Communications to produce television, radio, and print advertisements.
"Last year there were a record 10,328 housing discrimination complaints filed with HUD and its state and local partners," said Kim Kendrick, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "These grants will allow us to continue with efforts to educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.
"The national media campaign that we will develop is also very important. Without the campaign, we believe that the consequences of discriminatory lending will not only continue, but may escalate."
The grants, funded through HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program, will be used to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act, and work to promote equal housing opportunities.
For the first time in the history of the Fair Housing Initiatives Program, an organization in the state of West Virginia received a grant. The Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living will use its grant to conduct fair housing education and outreach activities throughout the state.
Thirty-nine of HUD's more than 100 FHIP agencies are high performers and will receive multi-year funding. Multi-year funding allows groups that maintain excellent performance ratings to continue their activities without interruption. Groups that are not in this category are required to submit requests for funding each year.
One of the first-time recipients of a performance-based grant is Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. Part of the Department's national effort to reduce discrimination against persons with disabilities, Access Living will use the grant to conduct a range of fair housing enforcement activities.
This year's grants were awarded under one of two initiatives:
Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) -- HUD awarded $14 million to help groups investigate alleged housing discrimination, and enforce the Fair Housing Act and state and local laws that are substantially equivalent to the Act.
Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) -- HUD awarded $3.1 million to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
A list of all grant recipients and summaries about their programs are listed at www.hud.gov.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice), (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Stay on top of the most up-to-date news regarding the Fair Housing Act by signing up for the FHEO RSS Feed.
Detailed individual grants summaries are available on the HUD web site.