HUD No. 04-OR-12
October 8, 2004
HUD AWARDS NEARLY $300,000 TO OREGON ORGANIZATIONS TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
The Fair Housing Council of Oregon and Legal Aid Society of Oregon receive grants
PORTLAND - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson awarded nearly $300,000 in grants to two Oregon organizations as part of $17.6 million in Fair Housing grants awarded nationally to 106 organizations. The Fair Housing Council of Oregon will receive $219,931.20 and the Legal Aid Society of Oregon will receive $79,588.80.
The Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) seeks to provide fair housing enforcement in the State of Oregon and
Clark County, Washington focusing its outreach and intake efforts on immigrant and refugee populations, as well as residents of Oregon's rural communities and individuals who are homeless due to discriminatory actions of housing providers.
The council will engage in several testing activities, as well as conducting apartment canvassing, witness interviews, and document review. Other activities include evaluating public housing discrimination complaints and assisting
callers with disabilities on the reasonable accommodation process. Additionally, FHCO will visit 19 rural counties to review, analyze, and make recommendations regarding regulatory barriers to affordable housing development. FHCO will provide culturally appropriate contacts to immigrant communities using bilingual and bicultural staff and contract personnel.
In partnership with the FHCO, Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO) plans to conduct fair housing activities that will increase awareness of fair housing rights and responsibilities, address predatory lending issues, provide lessons of accessible design and construction, and effectively remove regulatory barriers for the development of affordable housing. Target populations will include immigrants, realtors and housing developers, the disabled, residents of rural communities, and the general public in Oregon and southwest Washington State.
LASO also aims to expand the largest statewide multiple listing service database to facilitate identifying accessible features in homes for sale. Other activities include 12 fair housing programs through live access cable broadcasts
that will be translated into four languages and prepared for on-line access, education forums for developers and governmental groups, and a statewide fair housing summit for Region 10 leadership.
"Today's announcement reinforces the Bush Administration's continued commitment to ensuring that communities across America are free of discrimination," said Jackson. "These grants will provide communities with a variety of education initiatives aimed at promoting fair housing."
The 106 winners were chosen based on the soundness of approach, the extent of the problem, the capacity and experience of the applicant, demonstration of results, program evaluation, and the leveraging of other resources.
The Fair Housing Act bars housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status and national origin. The Act covers the sale, rental, financing, and advertising of almost all housing in the nation. Fair housing investigations are conducted by HUD investigators, state and city agencies working with HUD, and private
fair housing groups that receive HUD funds.
Anyone who believes they have experienced housing discrimination can call HUD's Housing Discrimination Hotline at 1 (800) 877-0246, TDD 1 (800) 927-9275.
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.