April 10, 2007
HUD'S OFFICE OF FAIR HOUSING AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY INTRODUCES, "FRANKLIN, THE FAIR HOUSING FOX"
Mascot unveiled during Annual Fair Housing Month Celebration
WASHINGTON-The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity today unveiled its first-ever fair housing mascot. Just as McGruff the Crime Dog represents the fight against crime, Franklin, the Fair Housing Fox, will symbolize the nation's efforts to end housing discrimination.
Designed to appeal to children and their parents, Franklin, the Fair Housing Fox, will encourage the public to "Dare to Be Fair" by promoting the message that "Fair Housing Is Not an Option; It's the Law." When children visit Franklin at www.hud.gov/kids, they will be able to obtain easy-to-understand Franklin Facts about The Fair Housing Act and learn how fighting housing discrimination is everyone's responsibility. Parents and kids can also email Franklin at Franklinthefairhousingfox@hud.gov if they have questions.
"The idea is to create a symbol that will help educate the public, particularly our future renters and home buyers, about their Fair Housing Rights," said Kim Kendrick, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Our hope is that this mascot will lead to greater housing opportunities for all who call America home, regardless of what they look like or where they were born."
Parents are encouraged to use HUD's kid's Website to get tips on how to talk to their children about housing bias. Families with children can also "Follow the Fox" when they encounter discrimination by going to www.hud.gov/kids and clicking on the Fox.
The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to deny housing based on familial status, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or sex, and this April marks its 39th Anniversary. Used to create awareness, Fair Housing Month is designed to educate people of all ages about the rights they have under the Fair Housing Act and to promote the principles of equal opportunity in housing.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,300 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1 (800) 669-9777 (voice), (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.