|HUD Region VI: 12-04
Patricia Campbell/Scott Hudman
(817) 978-5974/(713) 992-5206
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October 13, 2011
HUD AWARDS TEXAS $1,326,707 TO COMBAT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
FORT WORTH - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded five grants for a total of $1,326,707 to the San Antonio Fair Housing Council, the North Texas Fair Housing Center, the Houston Area Urban League, the Greater Houston Fair Housing Center, and the Austin Tenants Council. The grants are to assist people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination.
Nationally, HUD awarded $28 million. The grants announced today are funded through HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and will be used to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, and work to promote equal housing opportunities.
"The Obama Administration is committed to ending housing discrimination, and these grants enable local fair housing and community organizations all over the nation to help HUD enforce the Fair Housing Act, and make people more aware of their fair housing rights," stated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.
HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity, John Trasviña added: "Last year, HUD filed more Fair Housing Act charges than any year since 2002. The Fair Housing Initiatives Program grantees play a vital role to enhance our civil rights law enforcement efforts."
The categories of grants awarded today are:
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1 (800) 669-9777 (voice), or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
- Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) - HUD awarded $17.5 million to help groups investigate alleged housing discrimination, and enforce the Fair Housing Act and state and local laws that are substantially equivalent to the Act. The San Antonio Fair Housing Council received a grant in this category for $325,000. The Austin Tenants Council received a grant in this category for $325,000. The Greater Houston Fair Housing Center also received a grant in this category for $325,000.
- Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) - HUD awarded $4.6 million to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
- Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) - HUD awarded $5.9 million to groups that serve rural and immigrant populations in areas where there currently is no existing fair housing organization, or are otherwise underserved. The Houston Area Urban League received a grant in this category for $243,179. The North Texas Fair Housing Center also received a $108,805 grant in this category. See the below for program descriptions.
Austin Tenants Council Inc.
Private Enforcement Initiative - Performance Based
Component - $324,723
The Austin Tenants' Council (ATC) will use its grant to provide testing and legal resources in support of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Act of 1988. By investigating fair housing complaints through testing, ATC will use its resources to identify discrimination and help complainants enforce their rights under the Fair Housing Act. Additionally, this project is designed to heighten public awareness of the continued effects of housing discrimination in the Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area. It will specifically focus on issues surrounding the rights of disabled persons, the rights of recent immigrants to the United States and the high loan denial ratios for minority homebuyers by promoting fair housing and the availability of ATC's services utilizing television, radio and
print advertisements focused on disability and immigrant rights.
North Texas Fair Housing Center
Fair Housing Organization Initiative - Continuing Development
Component - $108,805
North Texas Fair Housing Center (NTFHC) will use its grant to support the continued development of NTFHC's enforcement and outreach programs, and support the development of a lending investigations program. NTFHC will conduct systemic testing and fair housing education and outreach in 12 counties that make up the Dallas and Fort Worth Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA): Collin, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Wise. The testing will consist of race and familial status tests, test new construction to determine compliance with the Fair Housing Acts accessibility requirements, develop a lending investigations program, and conduct fair housing education and outreach activities.
Houston Area Urban League and Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
Fair Housing Organization Initiative - Mortgage Rescue
Component - $243,179
Houston Area Urban League and Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program Collaborative will use this grant for work in Houston and Fort Bend County to: conduct fair housing education to homebuyers on illegal discrimination in the real estate lending markets and legal remedies; conduct fair housing outreach and education activities to provide information of forms of illegal housing discrimination, rights under the fair housing laws, and legal and administrative options for underserved populations; conduct a fair housing educational series for agencies that serve homeless persons; conduct outreach and education activities for organizations that serve the needs of veterans and those living with HIV/AIDS, and the Latino, and Asian communities; conduct housing counseling and home ownership and rental issue legal counseling; and conduct mortgage scam focused workshops.
Greater Houston Fair Housing Center, Inc.
Private Enforcement Initiative - Performance Based
Component - $325,000
The Greater Houston Fair Housing Center (GHFHC) will use its grant to provide fair housing enforcement services in
the Houston metropolitan area. The proposed yearly activities include: complete bilingual full service enforcement capability in English and Spanish; in-take and processing of 900 complaints of allegations of housing discrimination; conducting 240 investigations; development of systematic investigations; recruitment and training of 90 testers; performance of 360 fair housing enforcement tests (180 complaint based, 150 systemic, 30 retests); performance of 30 accessibility and design audits; conducting AFFH capacity building programs for 900 people from local partners (jurisdictions, non-profit and faith based organizations); conducting 12 media programs (English and Spanish) to promote AFFH/fair housing enforcement; referral of appropriate cases to HUD for enforcement actions; assisting complainants in determining their rights and remedies; assisting other agencies in discovery of fair housing enforcement evidence.
San Antonio Fair Housing Council, Inc.
Private Enforcement Initiative - Multi-Year
Component - $325,000
San Antonio Fair Housing Council, Inc (SAFHC) will use its grant to conduct preliminary investigations of 900 fair housing claims through various investigative methods including conduct 36 systemic investigations, 36 resident surveys, 300 rental tests, 15 sales tests, and 15 lending tests. These initiatives will take place in 35 counties in
South Texas (Atascosa, Bandera, Brooks, Cameron, Comal, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kendall, Kenedy, Kerr, Kinney, Kleberg, LaSalle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Real, Starr, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Wilson, Zapata, and Zavala counties). SAFHC will
do these activities in accordance with the Fair Housing policies for the discriminated and underserved in these areas.
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 http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.