Adam Glantz (212) 264-1100
Olga Alvarez (212) 542-7142
September 25, 2013
HUD AWARDS NEW JERSEY OVER $400,000 TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
NEWARK - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded over $400,000 to two New Jersey-based non-profit agencies to combat housing discrimination. The funding announced today is part of more than $38 million awarded nationwide to 95 fair housing organizations and other non-profit agencies in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
The New Jersey Citizens Action in Newark received $125,000, and the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey in Hackensack received $302,486. (A fuller description of how the funding will be used is at the bottom of the release.)
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."
"Everyone should have access to the neighborhoods and homes for which they financially qualify," added Bryan Greene, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "These grants make it possible for non-profits to assist people in their communities pursue their fair housing rights and educate housing providers and others about their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act."
The categories of grants awarded today are:
- Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) - HUD awarded $24.7 million to help local non-profit fair housing organizations carry out testing and enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
- Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) - HUD awarded $3.8 million to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
- Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) - HUD awarded $9.8 million to help build the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations, particularly organizations that focus on the rights and needs of underserved groups, such as rural and immigrant populations.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate more than 9,300 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
NEW JERSEY GRANTEES
Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey FY13 Private Enforcement Initiative - Multi-Year Component - $302,487.00
The Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey (the Council) will use its FHIP grant to serve the entire state of New Jersey. The Council will provide intake, investigate, and refer FHIP funded complaints of housing discrimination to HUD. The Council will work closely with HUD, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights on developing and processing systemic complaints of housing discrimination, including recruiting and training testers and conducting rental and sales tests. The Council will provide education and outreach on fair housing and Title VIII by addressing community organizations and distributing flyers to faith-based, veterans, religious, and disability advocacy groups, as well as to local merchants and grass roots organizations. The Council also will purchase newspaper, print, and journal ads to advertise the project and its services.
New Jersey Citizens Action Education and Outreach Initiative - General Component - $125,000.00
New Jersey Citizens Action (NJCA) will use its grant to educate New Jersey's underserved communities on avoiding and reporting predatory lending, foreclosure rescue scams, and other fair housing violations, as well as on new issues and trends such as housing discrimination against displaced homeowners and renters affected by Hurricane Sandy. Educational and media activities will include: train-the-trainer workshops for community leaders and consumer workshops for minority, LEP (Limited English Proficiency), and individuals with disabilities. NJCA will produce updated materials and curricula that are audience-specific and, targeted for distribution. NJCA will prepare a print and broadcast public education media campaign and a social media campaign on fair housing, financial education and avoiding predatory lending and foreclosure rescue scams; as well as a story bank of predatory lending and/or foreclosure scam first-person stories for media and consumers.
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 http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.