HUD No. KY08-005
Joseph P. Galvan
Atlanta Regional Director
(404) 331-5001 ext. 2168
April 16, 2008
HUD AND LOCAL FAIR HOUSING ADVOCATES COMMEMORATE THE 40th ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING ACT
Former State Senator Georgia Powers keynote speaker at On the Sunlit Path ceremony
LOUISVILLE, KY - State-wide fair housing advocates gathered at the Muhammad Ali Center Auditorium
in commemoration of National Fair Housing Month, which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) celebrates every April to memorialize the anniversary of the signing of the Fair Housing Act.
To observe this anniversary, HUD, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, and the Lexington Fair Housing Council presented On the Sunlit Path, a ceremony for policymakers, advocates, and housing-industry professionals. The
theme On the Sunlit Path comes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, I Have A Dream speech where he said, "Now
is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice..."
Former State Senator Georgia Powers provided the keynote address Remembering the past, examining the present, and expectations for the future. During her address, Senator Powers provided a historical perspective of the climate in Kentucky and nation leading up to the passage of the Kentucky fair housing law and the federal Fair Housing Act.
"I believe we need power to make policy in order to effect change in our lives," declared Senator Powers.
Panelists from housing advocate agencies throughout the Commonwealth also discussed how housing discrimination has impacted Kentuckians, where they believe we are today in fighting housing discrimination, and recommendations as to what can be done to continue to fight housing discrimination in the future.
More than 10,000 people filed housing discrimination complaints last year, most from persons with disabilities, according to an annual report released this month by HUD. HUD also found that race-based housing discrimination
was the second most frequent reason individuals filed complaints.
Of the more than 10,000 complaints filed last year, 43 percent alleged discrimination against persons with disabilities while 37 percent alleged racial discrimination. Most complainants claimed to be victims of discrimination in the terms and conditions of the sale or rental of housing, or outright refusal to rent.
"Forty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, an alarming number of families are still being denied housing and still need the protections this landmark law offers," said Kim Kendrick, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "This report underscores the importance of HUD's continued enforcement, education, and outreach activities to ensure that all Americans have equal access to housing opportunities."
The report describes the enforcement activities of HUD and its state and local partners during FY 2007. For
- A case that resulted in a $75,000 settlement for an African-American woman in California who was allegedly denied the opportunity to rent an apartment because of her race.
- A case that resulted in a $14,000 settlement for a woman in Illinois who was allegedly denied the opportunity
to buy a townhouse because she has children.
- A case that resulted in a $10,000 settlement for a man with a disability in New Jersey who was allegedly
denied an accessible parking space as a reasonable accommodation for his disability.
- A voluntary compliance agreement with the Atlanta Housing Authority that resulted in a commitment by the Authority to create at least 310 accessible units for persons with disabilities by 2011. This figure represents
5 percent of its housing stock.
In addition, the report details HUD's fair housing education and outreach efforts. For example:
- HUD placed fair housing advertisements on more than 900 movie screens throughout the country. These advertisements informed viewers that it is unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental, or financing of housing and provided HUD's toll-free telephone number, 1-800-669-9777, for those that may have experienced or witnessed unlawful discrimination.
- Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST, a HUD-funded training program, trained 1,351 individuals in 22 training
sessions in 17 states on the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements for multifamily housing.
For those who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination they should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY).
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 and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the
Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
For further information contact:
Deborah Knight, HUD Louisville Office Public Affairs Coordinator, at (502) 618-8129.