|HUD No. 00-8|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Friday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||January 14, 1999|
CUOMO TO SPEAK TO KING SUMMIT ON SUNDAY
ATLANTA - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo has been selected to deliver the keynote speech at 6 p.m. Sunday to the Martin Luther King. Jr. Service Summit at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Cuomo was selected to deliver the speech to more than 1,000 youth and adult volunteers because he has dramatically increased HUD's enforcement of the Fair Housing Act, which bars housing discrimination.
Cuomo said HUD's ongoing fight for fair housing for all Americans is an important tribute to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. v"On April 4, 1968, America suffered a terrible loss when Martin Luther King was killed by an assassin's bullet," said Cuomo. "But no bullet and no force could stop Dr. King;'s historic work. Just six days after his murder, Congress paid him tribute by passing the Fair Housing Act to outlaw housing discrimination."
The Fair Housing Act is one of HUD's most important tools. It enables HUD to crack down on housing discrimination and open up new housing opportunities for minorities and people with disabilities.
HUD has doubled its fair housing efforts under Cuomo. As part of President Clinton's One America Initiative, funding for programs to fight housing discrimination grew from $30 million in HUD's 1998 budget to $40 million in 1999 - a 33 percent increase. HUD's fiscal Year 2000 budget increased funding by another 10 percent, to $44 million.
"We can honor Dr. King's memory by committing ourselves to working more effectively than ever to enforce the Fair Housing Act to end the illegal and intolerable outrage of housing discrimination," Cuomo said. "We must ensure that every American family can live in any home and in any neighborhood they can afford."
HUD will conduct a nationwide audit to examine and analyze housing discrimination in communities across the nation. The audit will include 3,000 to 5,000 tests for housing discrimination, using African Americans, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans to examine and evaluate patterns and trends in housing sales, rental and mortgage lending to minorities.