January 13, 2004
BUSH ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $140,055 IN FAIR HOUSING GRANTS TO CONTINUE FIGHT AGAINST HOUSING BIAS IN ARKANSAS
Fort Smith and Little Rock Awarded Grants
FORT WORTH - The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today it has awarded $17.6 million in grants to fair housing groups in 39 states and the District of Columbia as part of the Bush Administration's efforts to curb housing discrimination. Organizations in Fort Smith and Little Rock received a total of $140,055.
"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
discrimination laws, and work to promote fair housing.
Three types of grants were awarded to groups in 96 cities:
Private Enforcement Initiative grants - About $10.2 million
was awarded to assist private, tax-exempt fair housing enforcement
organizations in the investigation and enforcement of alleged violations
of the Fair
Housing Act and State and local fair housing laws.
Education and Outreach Initiative grants - About $5.3 million was allocated to groups to educate the public about the rights and obligations under federal, state and local fair housing laws. Nearly $800,000 went to ten groups that focus on the needs of persons with disabilities.
Fair Housing Organizations Initiative grants - About $2.1 million was awarded for projects that serve rural and immigrant populations in underserved areas or where there currently is no existing fair housing organization.
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. A list of Arkansas grantees follows:
The Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council - $40,055.86
Education and Outreach Initiative - Minority Homeownership (EOI-HO)
Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council (C-SCDC) has been incorporated since 1965 and is one of the larger Community Action Agencies in the state of Arkansas. This project will provide fair housing marketing and outreach to all protected classes with a focus on minorities. Education and outreach about fair housing will also be used to increase minority homeownership by providing the necessary individualized counseling for those most underserved.
Arkansas Community Housing Corporation - $100,000.00
Education and Outreach Initiative-Minority Home Ownership (EOI-HO)
The Arkansas Community Housing Corporation (ACHC) will increase compliance with the Fair Housing Act and
increase minority homeownership through public outreach and education to grassroots organizations and churches
as well as lenders. It will also offer first-time homebuyer services to educate and prepare residents for home purchase, specifically serving residents in Pulaski, Faulkner, Lonoke, Saline, Lincoln and Jefferson counties. Since the program's inception in 1989, nearly $226 million has been awarded nationally 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, 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.