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February 9, 2012
HUD AWARDS $420,000 TO SUPPORT FAIR HOUSING PARTNERSHIPS IN WASHINGTON STATE
SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the award of $420,000 to four projects in Washington state to enforce fair housing laws and increase partner and public awareness of their rights and responsibilities under those laws. The funds, part of more than $7.5 million distributed nationwide today, also will help promote HUD's new Equal Access to Housing regulation, which ensures that HUD housing and programs are open to all families, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
"Today's announcement demonstrates the Obama Administration's commitment to ending housing discrimination, no matter what form it takes," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "With these funds, state and local government agencies on the front line of the fight will be able to continue their efforts to take on today's many fair housing challenges."
"Our Department and our partners have long been committed to developing even more effective ways to insure that our citizens and communities are fully aware of their rights and their obligations under fair housing laws," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator, Mary McBride. "The new partnerships for which we are providing funds today will offer innovative, community-based strategies to advance that continuing effort."
Two of the projects funded today in Washington state will be managed by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) and King County Office of Civil Rights (KCOCR).
- In the first of these two projects, SOCR and KCOCR will receive $63,000 to partner with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Public Outreach Liaisons to conduct fair housing education and outreach efforts with Seattle's immigrant and refugee community on fair housing laws. The partnership will result in fair housing materials developed, two train-the-trainers sessions and four educational events.
- In the second of these two projects, SOCR and KCOCR will receive $40,000 to partner with HomeSight, a HUD-certified home counseling agency to develop loan products to be utilized in the Muslim community, as well as to conduct fair housing trainings in the Muslim community.
The other two projects funded today in Washington state will be managed by the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC).
- In the first of these two projects, WSHRC will receive $64,700 to partner with the Northwest Fair Housing Alliance in Spokane to conduct fair housing testing in eastern Washington based on gender identity and national origin.
- In the second of these two projects, WSHRC will also receive $64,700 to partner with the Fair Housing Center of Washington in Tacoma to conduct fair housing testing in three western Washington counties, based on race, national origin, and disability. Ninety paired tests will be conducted, and the Fair Housing of Washington will present the findings to the Puget Sound Regional Council's Growing Transit Communities stakeholders, as well as WSHRC.
In awarding the funds, which are provided through HUD's Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP), HUD is responding to requests and suggestions from state and local government agencies that are seeking to partner with organizations that will assist in fair housing enforcement and outreach. The funds will help local communities learn more about their fair housing rights and housing providers meet their fair housing obligations, including those related to HUD's new Equal Access to Housing regulation.
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 @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.