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HUD   >   State Information   >   Tennessee   >   News   >   HUDNo.2013-09-25
HUD No. 09-25-2013
Knoxville/Nashville: Ed Ellis (865) 474-8205
Memphis: John Gemmill (901) 544-3403
FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
September 25, 2013

HUD AWARDS OVER $1.7 MILLION TO TENNESSEE TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

TENNESSEE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $1,724,939 to four fair housing organizations in Tennessee, 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."

Ed Jennings, Jr 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 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.

HUD is awarding FHIP grants to the following agencies:

TENNESSEE

Jackson

West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc.
FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative -
Multi-Year Component - $325,000.00

West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc. will use its grant to provide statewide full service, broad-based comprehensive fair housing enforcement services to all protected classes in all markets, with emphasis on underserved populations. Activities will include: analysis of housing related issues; complaint intake; investigation of allegations of discrimination; complaint based and systemic testing; evaluation of test results; mediation services; and enforcement of meritorious claims through litigation and/or the administrative process and/or refer to appropriate agencies. Education activities will include development and distribution of fair housing literature and PSAs in English and Spanish and fair housing workshops for a variety of audiences.

West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc.
Fair Housing Organization Initiative -
Establishing New Organizations Component - $975,000.00

West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc., in cooperation with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma (LASO), will use its grant to create a fair housing project that will become a viable fair housing organization. The organization's statewide work will comprise a network for enforcement that will include: analysis of housing related issues; complaint intake; investigation of allegations of discrimination; complaint-based and systemic testing; mediation services; and enforcement of meritorious claims through litigation and/or the administrative process and/or referral to HUD, the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office of Civil Rights Enforcement, and/or the U.S. Department of Justice. The entity will also develop and distribute literature and PSAs, and conduct fair housing workshops and presentations on lending and fair housing for a variety of audiences.

Nashville

Tennessee Fair Housing Council Inc.
FY11 Private Enforcement Initiative -
Multi-Year Component - $325,000.00

The Tennessee Fair Housing Council (TFHC) will use its grant to provide enforcement activities in Davidson, Cheatham, Dickson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties of Tennessee, and education and outreach activities throughout Tennessee. Specific activities include comprehensive fair housing enforcement and testing in the areas of rental, sales, accessibility and zoning. TFHC will provide training for multifamily owner/operators group home operators and other providers, hold "Community Fair Housing Partnership" trainings, and host two fair housing conferences (a Tennessee Fair Housing Matters Conference and Annual ECHO Fair Housing Conference). TFHC will also print and distribute two publications on NIMBYism and group homes.

Tennessee State University
Education and Outreach Initiative
Higher Education Component - $99,939.00

Tennessee State University (TSU) will use its grant to incorporate engaged learning activities for participating students, collaborative fair housing education outreach, and research and knowledge sharing into TSU's curriculum. Activities will include internships with partner organizations during which interns will participate in outreach and education, undertake research, and participate in information sharing. TSU faculty and students will collaborate with partner organizations throughout this project to assist with fair housing education and outreach to the public through workshops, educational efforts, and other activities that will increase public awareness of fair housing, linking students, community, and fair housing advocates in educational endeavors aimed at reducing barriers to fair housing choice in Metro Nashville.

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).

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