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HUD   >   State Information   >   California   >   News   >   CA13-53 FHIP
HUD IX No. 13-53
Gene Gibson
(415) 489-6414
www.hud.gov/california
FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
September 25, 2013

HUD AWARDS $3.9 MILLION TO CALIFORNIA TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $3,909,784 to 14 California fair housing organizations in an effort to reduce housing discrimination. This funding is part of $38.3 million HUD awarded today to 95 fair housing organizations and other non-profit agencies in 38 states. 

Funded through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), these grants will help enforce the Fair Housing Act through investigation and testing of alleged discriminatory practices. In addition, the funds will educate housing providers, local governments and potential victims of housing discrimination about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

“Ending housing discrimination requires that we support the law of the land and protect the housing rights of individuals and families who would be denied those rights,” stated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Ensuring and promoting Fair Housing practices lies at the core of HUD’s mission and these grants enable community groups all over the nation to help families who are denied equal access to housing." 

HUD Regional Administrator Ophelia Basgal added: “No one should be denied the opportunity to live where they want because of how they look, their faith, whether they have children or because they have a disability. These grants will help us continue our efforts to educate the public and housing industry about their housing rights and responsibilities.” 

            The California award recipients are: 

Bakersfield

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc.

FY12 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $312,708.00

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. (GBLA) will use its grant to continue providing fair housing investigation and enforcement activities throughout Kern County, California and to expand its current services by initiating a systemic testing program through its Fair Housing Law Project (FHLP). In addition, the FHLP will engage in extensive outreach, education, and training targeting protected populations, groups serving protected populations, households, landlords, State and local governments, and other partners. The long term outcome will include increasing community awareness of fair housing law, providing a well-publicized easily-accessed intake and complaint system, reducing the incidences of housing discrimination, and identifying and reducing and/or eliminating systemic barriers to affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) in Kern County. 

Fresno

Fair Housing Council of Central California

FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $259,034.00

The Fair Housing Council of Central California will use its grant to increase the number of enforcement actions; discover and remedy discrimination in public and private real estate markets; detect and remedy subtle and sophisticated forms of housing discrimination; reduce the incidence of steering and other practices perpetuating segregation; and increase the number of complaints filed by new immigrants, the undocumented, and persons with disabilities. 

Los Angeles

Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc.

Education and Outreach Initiative

General Component - $121,000.00

Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS) will use its grant to provide education and outreach to supportive housing providers, individuals with mental disabilities, individuals with limited English proficiency, disability support organizations, housing providers, and organizations that work with people with mental disabilities. MHAS will host fair housing workshops and develop materials for supportive housing providers and other housing and service providers as well as people with mental disabilities. MHAS will disseminate fair housing information to individuals, housing providers, and organizations through its monthly “Fair Housing Tip of the Month” messages published in English and Spanish, and distributed by mail, email, and social networking websites.  MHAS will provide fair housing information and technical assistance to people with disabilities, housing and service providers, and other community-based organizations. 

Southern California Housing Rights Center

FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $324,980.00 

The Southern California Housing Rights Center (HRC) will use its grant to conduct systemic testing and an provide fair housing assistance in areas within Los Angeles County where complaint statistics and FHIP systemic testing statistics point to persistent housing discrimination based on race, familial status and disability. HRC will conduct intake of allegations of housing discrimination from bona fide complainants in areas of Los Angeles County not currently served by a qualified fair housing organization, and provide other investigative work, including mediation and litigating fair housing cases, to achieve a just resolution for housing discrimination.

Napa

Greater Napa Fair Housing Center

FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $309,000.00 

The Greater Napa Fair Housing Center (GNFHC), d/b/a Fair Housing Napa Valley (FHNV)will use its grant to provide fair housing enforcement services by implementing a broad-based fair housing intake, counseling, investigation, testing, mediation, and referral to address historically segregated housing patterns and barriers to fair housing in Napa County, California. FHNV will collaborate with 15 faith-based grassroots agencies to market its fair housing services in English and Spanish. 

Oakland

Bay Area Legal Aid

FY13 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $325,000.00

Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) will use its grant to continue fair housing enforcement services to address the fair housing needs of low-income Bay Area residents and build capacity among local, state, and regional public and private organizations. Specifically, BayLegal will: conduct intake and investigate complaints; conciliate complaints of housing discrimination; file and/or litigate meritorious complaints for judicial enforcement; and conduct complaint and audit-based testing. In addition, BayLegal will submit legal opinions regarding the performance of local entitlement jurisdictions in meeting their obligations to affirmatively further fair housing under applicable laws and regulations. The organization’s education and outreach activities will include fair housing education presentations, fair housing enforcement trainings for staff of local Bay Area government and community-based organizations, and regional trainings on fair housing law and litigation. 

Rancho Cucamonga

Inland Fair Housing Mediation Board

FY13 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $325,000.00

Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board (IFHMB) will use its grant to continue the enforcement work of its previous multi-year grant and, additionally, investigate three pattern-and-practice housing discrimination cases in a region that ranks in the top 10 of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Mortgage Asset Research Institute report for predatory housing discrimination activity. Enforcement activities will include matched-pair fair housing tests, with referrals of systemic discrimination cases to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for additional review and enforcement. INFHMP will monitor affirmatively furthering fair housing efforts of 13 jurisdictions utilizing their municipal Consolidated Plans and Analyses of Impediments documents. Education and outreach efforts will include workshops focused on issues of limited English proficiency and disability issues. 

Inland Fair Housing Mediation Board

Fair Housing Organization Initiative –

Lending Discrimination - $325,000.00

Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board (IFHMB) will use its grant to complete four objectives in the San Bernardino and Imperial Counties: conduct matched-pair fair housing tests and refer complaints to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; provide at least one systemic discrimination case to HUD for enforcement; conduct legal clinics in English and Spanish; and distribute educational literature throughout IFHMB’s service area. IFHMB will focus on predatory mortgage and lending activities.  

Riverside

Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc.

FY12 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $284,894.00

The Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc. will use its grant to  train testers and conduct rental, sales, and lending testing and referral and enforcement. Activities include referral of complaints to HUD, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or private attorneys; mediation or conciliation on housing discrimination issues.  The organization will also create partnerships with local agencies, and reach out to local groups and developers and conduct fair housing law and enforcement training/education. 

Santa Ana

Orange County Fair Housing Council, Inc.

FY12 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $224,680.00

Orange County Fair Housing Council, Inc. (FHCOC) will use its grant to expand its existing broad-based, full-service, complaint-driven, private enforcement program to focus on Fair Housing Act violations having particular impact on individuals who are racial minorities, immigrants, or disabled while continuing its other long-standing enforcement efforts. FHCOC will take action against steering or discouragement by real estate agents and brokers, leasing agents, and possibly home builders, resulting in denial of housing opportunities to persons in minority groups, immigrant communities or persons with disabilities. FHCOC will pay particular attention to immigrants with limited English proficiency. 

San Diego

Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.

FY13 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $323,491.00

The Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. (LASSD) will work with the Fair Housing Council of San Diego (FHCSD) to promote fair housing choice.  LASSD/FHCSD will establish and refine existing testing protocol for persons with mental disabilities and conduct testing for discrimination based on race, national origin, or religion. LASSD will conduct education and outreachto implement a Consumer Education Speaker’s Council Group and complete a variety of other education-based activities.  Among the anticipated benefits of this project are an elevated public understanding about fair housing laws, assertion of rights to housing choice, testing results that show systemic trends that need addressing in the San Diego area, and a testing protocol for mental health disabilities thereby meeting the needs of a much-underserved population. 

San Francisco

California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

FY12 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $325,000.00

California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) provides legal services to farm workers and minority and low-income communities in rural California. CRLA will use its grant to target vulnerable and underserved rural regions and populations and expand client services to combat systemic discrimination in rural California. CRLA will provide full service fair housing enforcement, including investigation of systemic cases; increased outreach and trainings; and  enforcement and tester training.  CRLA will also facilitate local and state government compliance with Consolidated Plans, Housing Elements, and Analyses of Impediments to Fair Housing. 

San Rafael

Fair Housing of Marin

FY13 Private Enforcement Initiative –

Multi-Year Component - $324,998.00

Fair Housing of Marin (FHOM), will use its FHIP grant to strengthen existing programs while expanding into new areas of investigation. FHOM activities will include fair housing intake, mediation, complaint referral, investigation and lawsuits for Fair Housing Act violations. The activities include weekly onsite bilingual fair housing counseling for immigrants and counseling on loan modifications, short sales, assisted foreclosure, administrative complaints and/or lawsuits for other Fair Housing Act violations. FHOM will carry out systemic investigations into real estate owned (REO) properties and discrimination based on deaf/hard-of-hearing, national origin/familial status, race/Section 8.  FHOM will serve people of all protected classes in Marin, Sonoma, and Solano counties through newspaper ads, distribution of fair housing literature, presentations, predatory lending and foreclosure prevention counseling and workshops, and annual Fair Housing Law and Practice seminars. The organization also will make presentations at a local disability rights agency and hold reasonable accommodations conferences in Solano and Marin/Sonoma counties. 

Fair Housing of Marin

Education and Outreach Initiative –

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Training

Component - $124,999.00

Fair Housing of Marin (FHOM) will use its grant to develop and implement affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) trainings and related programs in Marin, Solano, and Sonoma counties. FHOM has developed the capacity to implement this project through experience drafting Marin County's AI and providing AFFH training and working with jurisdictions, nonprofits, and other stakeholders to promote awareness of AFFH obligations. The core of this project will be a series of AFFH trainings for public housing authorities and Community Development Block Grant HOME Investment Partnerships Program recipients. This project will also include additional education and community outreach efforts to overcome misconceptions that hinder AFFH efforts and to enhance opportunities for meaningful public participation in housing planning decisions on an ongoing basis. 

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