WASHINGTON STATE ORGANIZATIONS AWARDED $550,000 IN GRANTS
TO HELP FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
SEATTLE - Two Washington State organizations today received grants which will assist in their efforts to fight housing discrimination. The Northwest Fair Housing Alliance of Spokane and the Fair Housing Center of South Puget Sound, Tacoma, each received a grant of $275,000. These organizations were selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which awarded 88 grants totaling $17.1 million to recipients in 37 states and the District of Columbia to help fight housing discrimination.
The Northwest Fair Housing Alliance (NWFHA) will use the grant to conduct fair housing enforcement, education, and outreach activities in eastern and central Washington. NWFHA will provide complaint intake, investigation, and referral for alleged victims of discrimination and perform paired testing in the sales and rental market. Additionally, NWFHA will reach out to the significant number of African Americans, Hispanics, and other racial and ethnic minorities in the service area, persons with limited English proficiency, and those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The Fair Housing Center of South Puget Sound (FHCPS) will use the grant to continue their fair housing enforcement services. Specifically, FHCPS will provide intake and investigation of complaints of discrimination in rental, sales and mortgage lending. FHCPS will also recruit and train testers to conduct paired rental, sales and mortgage lending tests in western and central Washington.
"Last year there were a record 10,328 housing discrimination complaints filed with HUD and its state and local partners," said Kim Kendrick, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "These grants will allow us to continue with efforts to educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act."
The grants, funded through HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program, will be used to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act, and work to promote equal housing opportunities.
This year's grants were awarded under one of two initiatives:
- Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) - HUD awarded $14 million to help groups investigate alleged housing discrimination, and enforce the Fair Housing Act and state and local laws that are substantially equivalent to the Act.
- Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) - HUD awarded $3.1 million to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws.
FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 (voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Stay on top of the most up-to-date news regarding the Fair Housing Act by signing up for the FHEO RSS Feed at www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/index.cfm.
NOTE: A list of all the grant recipients is available on the HUD website.