|HUD No. 11-03
March 2, 2011
HUD AWARDS $325,000 IN NEW JERSEY TO FIGHT HOUSING AND LENDING DISCRIMINATION
NEWARK - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $325,000 to the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey to help combat housing and lending discrimination. The grant is part of over $40 million awarded nationwide to over 100 fair housing groups, which represents a $13.2 million increase over last year's award. (A description of the New Jersey grant is below.)
"The record increase in support to local fair housing and community organizations demonstrates the Obama Administration's firm commitment to ending housing discrimination and providing help to families victimized by mortgage scams," said Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión.
"Ending housing discrimination takes more than the efforts of Washington," said John Trasviña, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity. "These grants enable community groups all over the nation to help HUD enforce the Fair Housing Act, make the public more aware of their fair housing rights and ensure that housing providers understand their responsibilities under the law."
The grants announced today are funded through HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) 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 categories grants were awarded in include:
- Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) - HUD awarded $28 million to support organization that investigate alleged housing discrimination, and enforce the Fair Housing Act and state and local laws that are substantially equivalent to the Act. Groups will also use the funding to conduct testing to protect individuals living in minority neighborhoods from mortgage rescue scams.
- Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) - HUD awarded $6.8 million to organizations that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws. Groups will also conduct fair lending workshops, community meetings, and individual counseling activities focused on homeowners at risk for discrimination.
- Fair Housing Organizations Initiative grants (FHOI) - HUD awarded $6 million to organizations serving rural and immigrant populations in areas lacking existing fair housing organizations, or otherwise underserved. Included will be activities that provide direct assistance to victims of fraudulent or predatory mortgage rescue schemes.
NEW JERSEY GRANTEE
Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey
Private Enforcement Initiative - Performance Based
Funding Component - $325,000
The Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey will use its grant to serve the entire state of New Jersey to: conduct 180 rental/sales tests per year; intake, investigate, process and refer FHIP complaints of Title VIII violations to HUD; recruit and train 20 testers per year and provide tester training to the Council's non-FHIP staff; distribute a minimum of 2,000 fair housing flyers per year to community groups, faith based organizations, local shops, markets and any place where people in need of fair housing services are likely to congregate; address (in-person) religious, veteran, disability advocacy and community groups; and purchase newspaper, print and journal ads to advertise the project and its services. The areas of concentration will focus on (but not be limited to) some sections in the south and northeast where previous systemic testing revealed a high level of discrimination against minorities of color, families and persons with disabilities.
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.