HUD No. 05-139
Contact: Antoinette P. Banks
| For Release
October 3, 2005
HUD OPENS NATION'S FIRST FAIR HOUSING TRAINING ACADEMY AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY
Academy will serve as the center of development for our Nation's housing rights professionals
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson opened the nation's first National Fair Housing Training Academy today on the historical campus of Howard University. Joining Jackson was Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and Howard University President Patrick Swygert. The Academy is the first and only governmental institution in the U.S. that trains advocates, lawyers, investigators and others invested parties in the prevention and elimination of housing discrimination.
"Although the Fair Housing Act of 1968 made it illegal to discriminate in selling, renting or financing housing in America, recent studies we have conducted show housing discrimination is alive and well in the U.S.," said Jackson. "Under the leadership of President Bush, our national commitment to creating equal housing opportunities for all Americans is as strong today as it was under President Johnson in 1968 when this law was passed."
The Academy, which was approved by Congress in 2003, will serve as the center of development for our nation's civil rights professionals. The Academy's doors were first opened in a temporary location on August 9, 2004.
"Since training began in the temporary location, over 500 students have successfully completed one of the five core courses." said Floyd May, HUD's General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Once an enforcement practitioner completes the five-week core curriculum, they will receive certification that denotes a level of expertise in civil rights enforcement, embracing of the core values of fairness and equal opportunity, a commitment to excellence, fairness and professionalism."
The new Academy opened in the historic, Minor's Teachers College on the campus of Howard University. Minor's Teachers College is well known for educating many of America's first African-American teachers.
"The academy aims to lead and inspire, through excellence in training and research, the education and development of the principles of fair housing and equal opportunities for all people residing in the United States, says H. Patrick Swygert, president, Howard University. "This is a timely and worthy intervention that the University is proud to be associated with."
"The National Fair Housing Training Academy will be a major component in fully enforcing the letter and the spirit of the Fair Housing Act and further ensuring that fair housing is central to the American way of life," explained Jackson.
People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 or DOJ at (800) 896-7743 or (202) 514-4713. Additional information is available on the Internet and www.usdoj.gov.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and 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 and espanol.hud.gov.