Birmingham HUD Office Participates In Homeownership Center Opening
The Fair Housing Center of North Alabama, Central Alabama Fair Housing Center, and Mobile Fair Housing Center, hosted a Fair Housing National Origin Discrimination Workshop on January 12, 2012 in Hoover, AL. Representatives from the Mexican Consulate General, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO), Bessemer Utilities, as well as other community organizations, private organizations and the Hispanic media were in attendance.
HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, John Trasviña, delivered the keynote address. Assistant Secretary Trasviña shared the history of the Fair Housing Act and focused his address on national origin discrimination in housing. Assistant Secretary Trasviña's overview of the historical 1886 United States Supreme Court Yick Wo v. Hopkins case educated participants on how facially neutral laws can result in illegal discrimination. FHEO's Assistant Secretary cited various, current local laws around the country that are in effect denying people the right to chose where they want to live due to the laws' discriminatory impact on a certain group of people.
After the keynote address, staff from the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center presented "Fair Housing 101", an overview of fair housing rights and the classes protected by these rights. FHEO staff then presented information on National Origin Discrimination and Limited English Proficiency in Federally Funded Programs (LEP).
Participants were given an opportunity to voice their concerns during an interactive panel discussion facilitated by Cain Davis, FHEO Birmingham Field Office Director. Panelists included Alabama's Fair Housing Center Directors, and representatives from the Hispanic Catholic Social Services, ACLU, and HICA. Panelists discussed recent incidents of national origin fair housing violations and collaborated with participants to develop strategies and partnerships to address fair housing issues. The panel discussion resulted in the establishment of several committees which are designed to address fair housing issues.
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