HUD No. 04-OR-3
April 5, 2004
U.S. MARKS 36th ANNIVERSARY OF FAIR HOUSING ACT
HUD's Fair Housing Van to visit Oregon cities educating the public
about Fair Housing Rights
PORTLAND - The Fair Housing Act, established by Congress
in 1968, prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale, or financing
of any dwelling based on race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin. In 1988, amendments were added to prohibit discrimination
based on disability and familial status. Alleged violations of the
Act are investigated by the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, state and city agencies working with HUD, and private fair housing groups, many of which also receive HUD funds.
To celebrate the 36th anniversary of passage of the Act, HUDs Region X office is launching a 3-week Fair Housing Van tour through Oregon, Idaho, and Washington to bring the message of equal housing opportunity to local communities. In Oregon, the van will stop in The Dalles, Redmond, Klamath Falls, Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg, Junction City, Corvallis, Pendleton, and La Grande during April 12 - 21. Go to www.hud.gov/oregon for the times and locations in each city, or call 1-800-877-0246.
"HUD and our partners are determined to ensure fair housing
for all, especially minorities, persons with disabilities,
and families with children," said Tom Cusack, HUDs Portland Field Office Director.
"We encourage everyone to visit the van when it stops in your community. Fair housing specialists will be there to answer your questions, provide informational brochures, and explain how to file a complaint if you suspect housing discrimination," said Judith Keeler, Director of Fair Housing for HUD in Region X.
In fiscal year 2003, individuals filed nearly 8,100 discrimination
complaints nationwide with HUD and its partner agencies in states
and localities, and the Department resolved more than 8,400 cases.
HUD estimates, however,
that the number of complaints received comprise only a small percentage of actual incidences of housing-related discrimination. Furthermore, HUD research suggests that more than 80 percent of people discriminated against fail to report the incident.
"The apparent reasons for this inaction are not complicated," said Carolyn Peoples, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Far too many Americans still do not know where to turn for help when they do experience discrimination. Others have trouble recognizing discrimination when it occurs."
HUD studies confirm that African Americans, Hispanics, Asians/Pacific
Islanders, and Native Americans often receive less favorable treatment
than similarly qualified whites when attempting to buy, finance,
or rent homes.
Discrimination because of race and national origin is alleged in more than 50 percent of the complaints received by HUD and the state and local agencies it funds through the Fair Housing Assistance Program.
Discrimination based on disability accounted for 39 percent of
the complaints received in fiscal year 2003 by HUD
and its FHAP partners. Disability-related complaints include, among others, allegations of housing providers refusing
to rent to people with disabilities, denying reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, or failing to design and construct housing that meets the Acts accessibility requirements.
HUD recently launched a national ad campaign designed to educate the public about their fair housing rights. The campaign includes an award-winning public service announcement.
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 nations fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
Note to editors: People who believe they've been harmed by housing discrimination can file complaints with HUD in Region X by calling 1-800-877-0246, TDD 1-800-927-9275, or on the Internet.