|Home | En Español | Contact Us | A to Z|
HUD Archives: News Releases
HUD FAIR HOUSING OFFICIAL EVA PLAZA ADDRESSES LULAC CONFERENCE ON HUD'S FIGHT AGAINST HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
DALLAS - Eva M. Plaza, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, today told the League of United Latin American Citizens that HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo's crackdown on housing discrimination is benefiting Latinos and others who have been targets of such discrimination.
Cuomo began a stepped-up campaign against housing discrimination in September at President Clinton's direction, as part of the President's One America Initiative to bring Americans together. This past fiscal year, as a result of HUD's crackdown, the Department obtained $9.6 million in relief for individuals in housing discrimination settlements - compared with $4.4 million the year before.
"I am here on behalf of Secretary Cuomo to say that the Latino community's housing concerns are our concerns at HUD, and are being heard and addressed by the Department," Plaza said at LULAC's annual conference in Dallas. "I applaud LULAC for helping HUD educate members of the Latino community about their fair housing rights."
Plaza told LULAC, which is the nation's oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization, that President Clinton has asked Congress for $22 million in increased funding for HUD to intensify the fight against housing discrimination next year. The 73 percent increase for HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity would boost spending by the office to $52 million. If approved by Congress, it would be the largest single budget increase in civil rights law enforcement in two decades.
"HUD is committed to bringing down the barriers - including illegal discrimination - that create the homeownership gap that divides whites and minorities," Plaza said.
The nation's Hispanic homeownership rate rose from 44 percent in the fourth quarter of 1997 to 44.4 percent in the first quarter of 1998. However, that still lags far behind the U.S. homeownership rate of 65.9 percent for the first quarter of this year.
The Fair Housing Act bars housing discrimination on account 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.
Plaza, a native Texan, has long been involved in activities benefiting the Hispanic community. A former Department of Justice official, she received the Washington Area Service Center Award for outstanding contributions in furthering recruitment and advancement of Hispanics in the federal workforce in 1994, and received the Justice Department's Hispanic Employment Program Award in 1996.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009