January 12, 2004
BUSH ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $17.6 MILLION IN FAIR HOUSING
GRANTS TO CONTINUE FIGHT AGAINST HOUSING BIAS
New Jersey State to Receive over $450,000 in Grants
NEW YORK - 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. In New Jersey, four nonprofit
groups based in Trenton, Hackensack and South Orange
will receive a total of $460,157 (A summary of New Jersey grantees is attached).
"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.
District of Columbia
Individual project summaries by city and state are available on the Internet.
Since the program's inception in 1989, nearly $226 million has been awarded 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; and 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.
Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey - $206,489.79
Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI)
As a full-service fair housing agency, the Fair Housing Council
of Northern New Jersey (FHCNJ) will increase its enforcement actions
to serve the disabled and persons of all protected classes, including
religious, racial, persons
of color, and ethnic minorities. Serving individuals and families, this 12-month project will accomplish sales and rental tests; investigate complaints, with appropriate HUD referrals; and recruit and train new testers. With partners such
as HUD, FHCNJ conducts statewide sales and rental testing. Advertising the program is planned as a recruitment
NJ Citizen Action - $80,000.00
Education and Outreach Initiative - General (EOI-G)
NJ Citizen Action serves the entire state of New Jersey. The goals
of the project are to avoid and report predatory lending practices
and to generate Fair Housing Act complaints to HUD by increasing
the: (1) knowledge and understanding of community leaders about
predatory lending practices in New Jersey, (2) knowledge of low-
and moderate-income consumers in Essex County, New Jersey, to avoid
predatory lending practices, and
(3) identification and referral of fair housing complaints and cases to HUD. NJ Citizen Action will use the following methods: four train-the-trainer workshops for community leaders; 125 consumer education workshops for low and moderate income and disabled adults; identification and training of victims of predatory lending to serve as spokespersons in a media campaign; print and broadcast public education media campaign; and training of organizations on model workout solution.
Community Health Law Project - $100,000
Education and Outreach Initiative - Disability (EOI-D)
The Community Health Law Project (CHLP) will educate consumers
about the fair housing rights of people with disabilities throughout
New Jersey. The initiative will focus on the construction of covered
multifamily housing that violates State and Federal architectural
barrier laws; exclusionary zoning that limits or excludes community
residences for people with mental and developmental disabilities; and refusal to make reasonable modifications and accommodations to policies. In partnership with the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey, the Housing
Coalition of Central Jersey, and the Fair Housing Council of Southern New Jersey, the CHLP's activities will include: contacting at least 30 nonprofit and government agencies and offering fair housing educational symposia to their constituents, reviewing and reprinting fair housing manuals, and conducting 15 education symposia throughout New Jersey.
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs - $79,667.20
Education and Outreach Initiative - General (EOI-G)
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Division
of Housing and Community Resources will
implement a statewide Fair Housing Education and Outreach Initiative. The goals of this campaign are to: (1) reduce housing discrimination through education efforts; (2) help underserved populations gain better access to housing options; and (3) to increase the number of complaints referred to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the State Civil Rights Office or a local fair housing agency. Outreach efforts will be primarily targeted towards immigrants and underserved populations within the State of New Jersey who are potential victims