January 12, 2004
BUSH ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $17.6 MILLION IN FAIR HOUSING GRANTS TO CONTINUE FIGHT AGAINST HOUSING BIAS
Oregon Organizations Receive $286,198
PORTLAND - The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today it has awarded a total of
$286,198 to two Oregon organizations as part of $17.6 million in grants to fair housing groups nationwide to curb housing discrimination.
The Fair Housing Council of Oregon in Portland was awarded a $206,471 Private Enforcement Initiative grant to provide fair housing enforcement in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Legal Aid Services of Oregon was awarded a $79,727 Education and Outreach Initiative grant to educate consumers and individuals in the housing industry
about requirements of the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Council of Oregon during this 18-month project will serve primarily rural residents and new
immigrants from Latino, Russian, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern communities. Numerous local partners, including culturally competent interpreters and a bilingual staff, enhance the Council's work, which will entail recruiting and training new testers, continuing to operate its statewide toll-free hotline, and conducting complaint-driven tests and audit tests of the rental, and mortgage lending markets. Testing in the assisted living and disabled accommodations markets will occur, especially for foster care homes that serve mentally disabled adults.
Legal Aid Services of Oregon in partnership with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon will perform education and outreach activities in Marion, Multnomah, Clackamas, Yamhill, Washington, Umatilla, and Curry counties in Oregon
and Clark County in Washington. Education and outreach activities will be coordinated through organizations that have regular contact with the targeted populations and will feature customized workshops. Workshop audiences will include case managers, family advocates, senior services providers, ESL and other instructors serving the targeted populations, social workers, clergy, laity leaders and volunteers of faith-based organizations, grassroots community organizers, immigrant community leaders, and media representatives.
"Today's announcement is another step toward ensuring that Americans have equal access to safe and affordable housing," said HUD Acting Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "We will not allow discrimination to stop families across this nation from living in any home, apartment, or neighborhood they can afford."
The grants were awarded today by HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program to groups that will use the funds to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and housing industry about housing
discrimination laws, and work to promote fair housing.
In 2002, HUD released a study titled Discrimination in Metropolitan Housing Markets: Phase I, which documented
that despite a decline during the last decade, housing discrimination still exists at unacceptable levels. Last year, HUD, in partnership with The Advertising Council and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, recently released an award-winning, edgy multimedia campaign designed to fight housing discrimination by showing the many faces of those persons protected by the nation's 35-year-old Fair Housing Act.
HUD received applications from 215 groups seeking grants for the fiscal year 2003 assistance. Grants were awarded
to 121 projects in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
Since the program's inception in 1989, nearly $226 million has been awarded to some 1070 organizations. Twenty-eight organizations selected for this year's awards are first-time applicants.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.