November 25, 2003
HUD ANTI-DISCRIMINATION PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT NAMED BEST OF 2003
WASHINGTON - A public service announcement produced as part of a Department of Housing and Urban Development campaign to educate Americans about housing discrimination has won the Ad Council's "Golden Bell Award" for the best PSA of 2003. The ad, which was produced under a grant, is part of the Department's nationwide print, radio, television and on-line campaign.
The campaign follows on the heels of a housing discrimination awareness study published last year by HUD that yielded some surprising results. For example, 83 percent of respondents who believed they had been discriminated against did nothing about it. The study also found only one percent of possible discrimination victims file complaints with HUD and other government agencies that investigate such allegations at no cost to the victims.
"The Bush Administration is committed to educating Americans about their fair housing rights," said Carolyn Peoples, HUD assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity. "This PSA is one of several that will help us reach that goal by letting people know what to do if they believe they are the victims of housing discrimination."
"Accents," the award-winning PSA, features a prospective renter who, while using varying accents, inquires about an apartment by phone. The PSA focuses on how he is treated differently solely because of his perceived race or ethnicity. The innovative PSA was produced for HUD by the New York-based advertising agency Merkley, Newman & Harty under the direction of Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund and the National Fair Housing Alliance.
Anyone who believes they have experienced housing discrimination should call HUD's Housing Discrimination Hotline at (800) 669-9777.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, 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 or www.espanol.hud.gov.