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HUD   >   State Information   >   Pennsylvania   >   News   >   HUDNo.2013-09-25
HUD R3 No. 13-60
Niki Edwards
(215) 430-6622
www.hud.gov/pennsylvania
FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
September 25, 2013

 HUD AWARDS MORE THAN $1.5 MILLION TO PENNSYLVANIA TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded today $1,548,726 to six fair housing organizations in Pennsylvania in an effort to reduce housing discrimination. This funding is part of $38.3 million HUD awarded to 95 fair housing organizations and other nonprofit 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."

Jane C.W. Vincent, Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region, 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.”

Project Summaries:  

Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia, Inc.
FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative
Multi-Year Component - $324,877

Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia, Inc. (FHCSP) will use its grant to affirmatively further fair housing and reduce discrimination in the Greater Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley regions of Pennsylvania through ongoing enforcement and systemic investigation. FHCSP will serve all protected classes in seven counties in Eastern Pennsylvania: Philadelphia (including three Empowerment Zones); Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Lehigh and Northampton (the Lehigh Valley).  The focus will be on educating these regions through outreach programs that target those who have experienced discrimination with the help of intake and investigations.

Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia, Inc.
Education and Outreach Initiative
General Component - $124,849

The Fair Housing Council of Suburban Philadelphia (FHCSP) will use its grant to expand existing fair housing education programming. Activities will encompass fair housing law education and training for local governments and housing programs receiving HUD CDBG, HOME, or ESG funding, including workshops on access to HUD-funded programs for individuals with Limited English Proficiency; trainings or webinars for nonprofits, housing providers, and consumers; training on design/construction requirements for builders, architects, and public officials; and a conference on zoning/land use compliance for local government and municipal solicitors. In addition, FHCSP will revise and distribute fair housing brochures and posters as well as ads for newspaper and television.  Throughout the project, FHCSP will refer potential victims and complaints to enforcement agencies, HUD, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, or private attorneys.

Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh
FY12 Private Enforcement Initiative
Multi-Year Component - $325,000

The Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh (FHP), a qualified, experienced fair housing organization, will use its grant to continue to provide fair housing services to Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area. Through this project, FHP will conduct intake of allegations of housing discrimination, carry out both audit and complaint based testing and assist in the enforcement of alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act and substantially equivalent state and local fair housing laws. FHP’s enforcement-related work will involve activities serving all protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, Inc.
FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative
Multi-Year Component - $325,000

Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, Inc. (SPLAS) and its partners will use its grant to expand an established testing program for housing discrimination and to increase the provision of legal counsel and representation on behalf of individuals who, through the project’s information/outreach process, are made aware of illegal acts affecting themselves or others in their community, because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability. SPLAS is a 44-year-old provider of comprehensive legal assistance, representation, education and outreach, working in coordination with four legal services program partners, four independent-living services partners, and one county fair housing office partner.

Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, Inc.
Education and Outreach Initiative
General Component - $125,000

Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, Inc. (SPLAS) will use its grant to partner with four legal services programs to expand its community education and outreach by adding four neighboring West Virginia counties with similar economic circumstances to its existing service area. West Virginia events will be delivered to the public, community service providers, and housing providers. Within its entire service area, SPLAS will expand its outreach to mental health/intellectual/ physically disabled protected class members as well as providers and domestic and sexual violence advocacy organizations. Throughout the project, SPLAS will maintain a protocol for referral of complaints of discrimination; refer complaints to HUD and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; and conduct six special events recognizing and publicizing Fair Housing Month, with at least one event in West Virginia. 

Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania
FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative
Multi-Year Component - $324,000

The Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania (FHRC) will use its grant to combat housing discrimination by providing full service, broad-based fair housing enforcement activities. The project will concentrate on intake, investigation and enforcement of fair housing violations in the rental, sales, lending, insurance, and advertisement of housing.

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