|HUD Region V No. 13-75
Laura J. Feldman
Follow us on Twitter @HUDMidwest
September 25, 2013
HUD AWARDS $650,000 TO MINNESOTA TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded 2 grants worth $650,000 to Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid in an effort to reduce housing discrimination. This funding is part of $38.3 million HUD awarded today to 95 fair housing organizations and other non-profit agencies in 38 states.
Funded through HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), these grants will help enforce the Fair Housing Act through investigation and testing of alleged discriminatory practices. In addition, the funds will educate housing providers, local governments and potential victims of housing discrimination about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.
"Ending housing discrimination requires that we support the law of the land and protect the housing rights of individuals and families who would be denied those rights," stated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Ensuring and promoting Fair Housing practices lies at the core of HUD's mission and these grants enable community groups all over the nation to help families who are denied equal access to housing."
"No one should be denied the opportunity to live where they want because of how they look, their faith, whether they have children or because they have a disability. These grants will help us continue our efforts to educate the public and housing industry about their housing rights and responsibilities," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator.
See below for amount of grants and how the funds will be used.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
FY13 Private Enforcement Initiative -
Multi-Year Component - $325,000
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (Legal Aid) will use its grant to partner with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services to improve Fair Housing Act enforcement in 53 southern and central Minnesota counties. Legal Aid will provide fair housing enforcement services to complainants, conduct fair housing testing, and collaborate with the St. Paul Department of Human Rights to address systemic discrimination through testing, training, and enforcement. Legal Aid also will help strengthen area jurisdiction' efforts to develop the 2014 Regional Analysis of Impediments, participate in local transit oriented development planning, analyze regional Section 8 voucher utilization data and use the analysis to develop and advocate for best practices to increase use and mobility of the vouchers, and create a Spanish language mirror site for its web-based fair housing resource guide.
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
Fair Housing Organization Initiative -
Lending Discrimination - $325,000
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (Legal Aid) will use its grant to provide services in 53 southern and central Minnesota counties. Legal Aid's activities will include provide lending abuse enforcement services to victims of lending discrimination and scams, bait and switch schemes, loan flipping, loan packing, mortgage servicing scams, and equity stripping,. They will provide full-service investigation, testing, preparation, negotiation, counseling, and assistance with loan modifications, litigation, and related legal services to lending abuse complainants to obtain remedies. Legal Aid will investigate and litigate systemic discriminatory lending practices to provide relief to complainants and protect others. It will further provide outreach and education about unfair housing practices to new immigrant communities and training to local communities on ways to affirmatively furthering fair housing; and train foreclosure counselors, attorneys, other professionals, government officials, and community groups on best practices to address lending discrimination and scams.