Thirty years ago, the Monmouth County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders and their Fair Housing Board created a poster drawing contest that teaches County six-graders the importance of having a safe and inclusive place to call home. This year's Grand Prize winner was Angelo Incorvaia, who created a poster he named "Fair Housing Means Peace". Angelo's artwork, and the creations of many other Monmouth County children will be featured in a calendar and distributed throughout the County.
Every year since 1988, Monmouth County has quietly educated families, teachers and school officials about Fair Housing in celebration of - and commitment to - equality in housing in Monmouth County. Nine school districts participate in the contest annually; and it starts with the support of principals in elementary schools where teachers discuss fair housing in the classroom and HUD's Fair Housing Month theme. This year the theme is "Call HUD."
The contest winners that will be included in the calendar were selected on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at the Sheraton -Eatontown, NJ. HUD NJ Field Office Director Maria Maio- Messano attended the event; as did HUD NJ FHEO Branch Chief Brenda Edmondson, Branch Chief; who spoke about Fair Housing and presented awards to sixth graders and their schools during the 30th Annual Fair Housing Month Awards Ceremony. Brenda has participated in the judging and awards ceremony since 1996. Attendees included Monmouth County's Freeholders,150 students and their families, teachers, and principals.
In 1988 the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders created the Fair Housing Board and established the position of Fair Housing Officer located in the Monmouth County Office of Community Development. The FH Officer coordinates a county-wide approach to facilitate fair housing opportunities and focuses on HUD's protected classes-race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability status, and familial status. The Fair Housing Officer intakes and screens inquiries from County residents, triages potential discrimination complaints, assists callers on how to file complaints with the State of NJ and/or HUD, refers residents to other services, educates the public, and provides general information on a wide range of housing issues.