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HUD Reports Significant Progress on President's Initiative to Remove Barriers to Housing for People with Disabilities
WASHINGTON - HUD Secretary Mel Martinez announced today that the Department has made significant progress in implementing President Bush's New Freedom Initiative, an executive order to improve access to services for persons with disabilities.
Martinez joined Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and other cabinet officials today at an event to highlight the accomplishments made during the first year of the initiative and to reaffirm the Administration's commitment to the New Freedom Initiative, which the President launched last June to improve opportunities for community integration of people with disabilities.
"We have made good improvements, but these are just the first steps,"
Martinez said. "HUD will continue to work closely with our federal and
local government partners - as well as people with disabilities - to help tear
down the barriers to housing equality that confront many of the 54 million Americans
In addition, HUD is continuing to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act and other federal laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. Through voluntary compliance agreements between HUD and the housing authorities in the District of Columbia and Boston, an additional 1,200 fully accessible housing units will become available in those cities. This year, HUD will award more than $16 million in Fair Housing grants to fund organizations leading the fight against housing discrimination.
HUD has also recently entered into an historic partnership with the National Association of Home Builders aimed at ensuring that multifamily housing complies with the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements. HUD has also launched two major education and outreach initiatives to make certain that more apartments and condominiums are built to be accessible to people with disabilities.
The President's budget for the coming fiscal year supports and expands on these efforts through additional rental vouchers for non-elderly disabled families, more housing construction for people with disabilities, and new dollars for housing assistance and support for low-income persons with HIV/AIDS.
HUD is one of six federal agencies directed by President Bush through the New
Freedom Initiative to improve access to services for people with disabilities.
Executive Order 13217 directs theses federal agencies including the Departments
of Education, HHS, Justice, Labor and the Social Security Administration to
evaluate the policies, programs, statutes and regulations of their respective
agencies to determine whether any should be revised or modified to improve the
availability of community-based services for qualified individuals with disabilities
and to report back to the President with their findings. President Bush received
Delivering on the Promise in March, a compilation of the final reports
from HUD and the other individual agencies. Read HUDs
New Freedom Initiative Progress Report.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010