September 25, 2013
HUD AWARDS $125,000 TO MISSISSIPPI TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
JACKSON, MS - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $125,000 to the Mississippi Center for Justice in an effort to reduce housing discrimination. This funding is part of $38.3 million HUD awarded 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."
Ed Jennings, Jr., the HUD Southeast Regional Administrator, 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 Mississippi Center for Justice will use the grant to increase its capacity in fair housing enforcement. Specifically, it will investigate and analyze allegations and refer complaints to HUD. It will conduct tests in the rental, sales, and lending and insurance markets statewide to investigate violations of the Fair Housing Act. The Center also will address systemic barriers to affirmatively furthering fair housing choice such as the use of exclusionary zoning ordinances and restrictive covenants in four "white flight" counties adjacent to metropolitan areas. Lastly, the Center will provide fair housing education and outreach to local and regional housing authorities and their staffs and fair housing presentations targeting single mothers.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.