October 11, 2007
FUNDING AWARDED TO HELP THREE MASSACHUSETTS AGENCIES FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
Grants part of $17.1 million awarded nationwide
Today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded funding to three Massachusetts agencies
to help fight housing discrimination. The grants, part of $17.1 million awarded nationwide, are funded under the Fair Housing Initiatives Program and will be used to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act, and work to promote
equal housing opportunities.
The Housing Discrimination Project, Inc., in Holyoke, was awarded $275,000. The funding will be used to investigate complaints of discrimination and test for rental, sales and insurance discrimination in Hamden, Hampshire, Franklin, Berkshire and Worcester counties. Focusing on minority and immigrant communities in particular, HDP will conduct fair housing workshops at shelters, first-time homebuyer, and predatory lending training sessions. HDP will also provide education and outreach workshops for individuals with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities, and conduct voice recognition tests, monitor housing advertising, and distribute fair housing information.
Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts, located in Worcester, was awarded $230,000. The agency will work in partnership with the City of Worcester to perform fair housing investigation and enforcement activities throughout Central Massachusetts. In particular, the Project will recruit and train testers and conduct
50 paired fair housing complaint-based and audit tests. The Project will also work with local grass-roots and faith-based community organizations and with local minority-serving institutions to recruit testers, reach victims of discrimination, and educate consumers and housing providers about their fair housing rights and responsibilities.
HAP, Inc., in Springfield, was awarded $81,365 and will work in cooperation with Housing Discrimination Project
to provide fair housing education and outreach throughout Hamden and Hampshire counties. Specifically, HAP will conduct an array of education and counseling services to increase the public's knowledge of their fair housing
rights, and housing provider's understanding of their fair housing responsibilities. HAP will also provide counseling
for individuals who may experience discrimination when trying to rent or finance a home.
"Last year there were a record 10,328 housing discrimination complaints filed with HUD and its state and local partners," said Kim Kendrick, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "These grants will allow us to continue with efforts to educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and
responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act."
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,000 housing
discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice), (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.
NOTE: For information on a specific grant, please contact the grantee. For information on the FHIP program and
on the Fair Housing Act, please contact Kristine Foye at (617) 994-8218 or via email at Kristine.email@example.com.