Department of Housing and Urban Development - Andrew Cuomo, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington DC 20410
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES $11.5 MILLION IN GRANTS TO HELP GROUPS IN 42 CITIES CRACK DOWN ON HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - President Clinton today announced $11.5 million in grants to groups in 42 cities to help them carry out his crackdown on all types of housing discrimination, including a new focus on reducing discrimination against recent immigrants, who are predominately minorities.
"Members of every family in America want to be able to live in any neighborhood and in any home they can afford, free from discrimination," President Clinton said. "The Fair Housing Act gives families this legal right, and we are determined to enforce it as part of our initiative to create One America of equal opportunity."
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said that in addition to continuing efforts to wipe out housing discrimination against minorities and others born in the United States, many of the HUD grants are targeted to groups that have not traditionally sought assistance in fighting housing discrimination, particularly new immigrants.
"The Statue of Liberty doesn't have an inscription saying 'Give me your tired, your poor, but keep them out of nice white neighborhoods,' Cuomo said. 'People who flee persecution elsewhere in search of the American Dream shouldn't have to suffer discrimination in our country."
Cuomo said private, non-profit fair housing groups in the following states will get the $11.5 million in grants from HUD to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and housing industry about housing discrimination laws, and work to promote fair housing.
|Alabama $295,005||Missouri $421,282|
|Arizona $200,000||Montana $448,626|
|California $1.7 million||Nevada $204,679|
|Colorado $305,158||New Jersey $350,000|
|Dist of Columbia 593,259||New York $616,112|
|Georgia $277,000||North Carolina $448,557|
|Illinois $899,966||Ohio $300,000|
|Indiana $218,366||Oregon $182,347|
|Kentucky $349,995||Pennsylvania $810,000|
|Massachusetts $243,430||Tennessee $474,493|
|Michigan $350,000||Texas $932,883|
|Minnesota $337,750||Virginia $350,000|
"Housing discrimination is illegal, intolerable and un-American" Cuomo said. "The grants
we're awarding today will strengthen our partnership with local groups around the country working
to put a stop to this outrageous conduct."
The Fair Housing Act bars housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex,
disability, family status and national origin. The Act covers the sale, rental, financing and advertising of almost all housing in the nation. Fair housing investigations are conducted by HUD investigators, state and city agencies working with HUD, and private fair housing groups that receive HUD funds..
Unlike past years, today most immigrants to the United States are minorities. While 85 percent of immigrants were white Europeans in 1900, only 16 percent of immigrants were Europeans in 1996.
Studies show that minority immigrants experience worse housing conditions than European
immigrants. In addition, recent immigrants are less likely to he homeowners than earlier immigrants, and non-English speaking immigrants face special difficulties in understanding their fair housing rights.
Cuomo said all types of housing discrimination are much harder to detect today than they
were years ago, making it more important than ever for HUD to work in partnership with local
groups to root out illegal acts of discrimination.
"Today housing discrimination is subtle, not blatant," Cuomo said. "For example, landlords usually don't say openly that they don't rent to blacks or Hispanics - they just say there are no vacancies when a minority shows up. Then, miraculously, several vacancies suddenly appear
when a white person walks in five minutes later."
The grants, which are funded under HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives program will address
sophisticated and subtle forms of discrimination through paired testing as well as other investigative
tools. During testing, people of different backgrounds - based on their race, ethnicity, family
status, sex, religion or disability - pose as prospective renters or homebuyers. Testers - who state
they have similar income, assets and credit ratings - check to see if they are treated differently
from one another by landlords, people selling homes, lenders making mortgage loans, or companies
selling homeowners insurance.
Just last month, a Richmond, VA, fair housing group using MUD funds for testing won a
record $100 million racial discrimination judgment against Nationwide Insurance Co.
The grants announced today will also be used to investigate housing discrimination
complaints, to educate members of the public about their rights, and to train housing industry
groups and local governments on their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.
A total of $800,000 of the grant money. which went to five groups was set aside to expand
fair housing services to people with disabilities.
Cuomo last week announced the most comprehensive and sophisticated nationwide audit
ever conducted to test for and evaluate housing discrimination in urban, suburban and rural
communities around the nation. The audit will include 3,000 to 5,000 tests for housing
discrimination. Testers will examine and evaluate patterns and trends in housing sales, rentals, and
mortgage lending to minorities.
Since 1993, HUD has received nearly 44,000 fair housing complaints and has helped obtain
over $150 million in settlements and court judgments in housing discrimination cases. This year HUD has also obtained commitments from lenders to make over $3 billion in home mortgage loans
to minorities and low-income families to settle accusations of housing discrimination.
As part of his One America Initiative, President Clinton directed Cuomo to double
enforcement efforts brought against perpetrators of housing discrimination by the year 2001 HUD
has already doubled its enforcement actions to a rate of 60 to 70 a month, compared with less than
30 enforcement actions per month during the Clinton Administration's first term.
Cuomo said HUD will be able to continue moving aggressively against housing discrimination as the result of an increase in the budget of its Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity from $30 million in the 1998 fiscal year to $40 million in the current fiscal year.
People who believe they've been harmed by housing discrimination can file complaints with
HUD by calling 1-800-469-9777 or on the Internet at http://www.hud.gov/hdiscrim.html.
Fighting Housing Discrimination
FY 1998 Fair Housing Initiatives Program Awards
(Alphabetical by state and city within the state)
The Fair Housing Agency of Alabama, based in Mobile, received $94,715 to continue maintenance and enforcement of fair housing laws in Southern Alabama and assist residents to exercise their fair housing rights.
The Mobile Fair Housing Center received $199,287 to provide fair housing activities in Southern Alabama. Enforcement action will be conducted in both the State's metropolitan and rural areas. The grant will enable the organization to expand its capacity to provide fair housing enforcement services that address the needs of people with disabilities.
The Arizona Center for Disability Law, with offices in both Phoenix and Tucson, received
$200,000 to enforce fair. housing rights for persons with disabilities in Arizona.
California Rural Legal Assistance, based in San Francisco, received $100,000 to develop,
implement and coordinate a fair housing public education campaign in agricultural regions of the
The Fair Housing Council of Riverside County received $202,357 to expand and enhance private enforcement and education outreach components of its present fair housing program and to expand services.
The Fair Housing Council of Fresno received $100,000 for outreach and education to consumers, housing providers and government officials in the Central Valley of California. The Council will also provide individual assistance to consumers.
The Fair Housing Council of San Gabriel Valley in Pasadena received $291,850 to help remove barriers to fair housing.
Sentinel Fair Housing of Oakland received $349,900 to provide technical assistance, recruit and
train new rental housing testers, provide for complaint intake, and undertake tests for accessibility.
Community Legal Services based In San Jose, received $350,000 to provide fair housing
advocacy for people of various protected classes. The organization will also investigate complaints,
undertake testing and do referrals.
The Fair Housing Council of Marin, in San Rafael, received $297,485 to work with traditional
civil rights groups located in Sonoma City, arj area underserved by fair housing organizations.
Newsed Community Development Corporation of Denver received $305,158 for testing,
complaint referral, pre-application tests of non-regulated lenders and regulated lenders, and referrals of fair housing/fair lending complaints to HID
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Judge David L. Bastion Center for Mental Health Law of Washington. DC received
$93,259 to conduct an 18-month campaign of testing, administrative enforcement and litigation in
northern Virginia. The Mental Health Center will work with Independent Living Centers to assist
people with disabilities 10 exercise their fair housing rights.
Metropolitan Fair Housing Services received $277,000 to address all discriminatory housing
practices against Georgia's Hispanic communities.
Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago received $350,000 for disability projects that address the fair housing enforcement needs of persons with disabilities.
The John Marshall Law School received $349,972 to contribute to the goal of substantially
increasing enforcement actions with vigorous testing and enforcement.
Latinos United of Chicago received 5100,000 to develop a comprehensive Latino suburban fair
St Clair County received $99,994 to target predominantly African-American inner city, low- and
moderate-income people for rental, sales, and lending education and to provide outreach to the
homeless for rental education.
Northwest Indiana Open Housing received $218,366 to employ rental and sales tests in an effort
to stamp out housing discrimination.
The Lexington Fair Housing Council received $349,995 to continue enforcement of fair housing
laws through testing, filing of complaints, complaint processing enforcement, and analysis of
impediments and related activities.
The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center received $350,000 to counteract housing discrimination on behalf of all protected classes in all housing markets, through a variety of
The Housing Discrimination Project in Holyoke received $243,430 to work with traditional civil
rights groups and the Legal Assistance Corporation of Massachusetts, to work on fair housing issues and concerns.
The Fair Housing Center of Meiropolitan Detroit received $350,000 to conduct housing
discrimination activities in 11 counties served by regional fair housing organizations.
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services received $337,750 for a fair housing enforcement project that will extend enforcement services to reach all protected classes.
Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council received $71,282 to increase work on discrimination complaints from immigrants and homebuyers through seminars, focus groups and public forums.
The Kansas City Fair Housing Center received $350,000 to continue its outreach and
collaboration with local consortiums and to extend partnerships with community education
Montana Fair Housing, based in Missoula, received $350,000 to-conduct education and outreach and perform testing and other investigative activities that can lead to the filing of fair housing complaints, particularly from Native Americans.
Billings Community Housing Resource Board received $98,626 to provide people with
disabilities, Native Americans, women and the housing industry with information on fair housing
laws and rights.
The Nevada Fair Housing Center in Las Vegas received $204,679 to conduct private enforcement activities including complaint intake, referral, testing, and conciliation of fair housing claims.
The Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey received $350,000 to conduct fair housing
testing in Northern New Jersey.
Asian Americans for Equality, based in New York City, received 3.626 for fair housing
efforts targeted to the growing Asian American community in New York City.
The Open Housing Center in New York City received 5350,000 for testing, to investigate
complaints of discrimination, and for education efforts.
Greater Upstate Law Project of Rochester received $52,486 to develop a statewide Electronic
Center for fair housing; service areas in semi-rural New York with its web site and to train social
workers in fair housing complaint intake and processing.
The Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission received $100,000 to provide education and outreach to African Americans, Hispanics, elderly and disabled, and households with children that have unmet fair housing needs.
The North Carolina Fair Housing Center received $348,557 to investigate all areas of housing
discrimination, refer complaints to appropriate enforcement agencies including HUD and to
investigate and test the nature and level of predatory lending and racial steering.
The Fair Housing Center of Toledo received $300,000 to enhance its fair housing programs,
combat ille8al housing practices and to affirmatively further fair housing The grant to the Fair
Housing Center of Toledo will also enable it to enter into partnership with private enforcement
organizations, local government agencies or traditional civil tights organizations and focus on
systemic investigations of housing discrimination.
The Oregon Advocacy Center received $182,847 to build on existing services of community
training, information, referral of fair housing complaints and legal representation for victims of
housing discrimination. The Center will work with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon to build
upon its existing enforcement services.
The Tenant's Action Group (TAG) in Philadelphia received $350,000 to expand regional fair
housing activities performed by TAG under four previous FHIP grants, which also included a
Delaware Valley Fair Housing Partnership. This regional partnership consists of five agencies that
collectively enforced federal, state and local fair housing laws in the city of Philadelphia and its
suburban counties in Delaware and southern New Jersey.
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia received $300,000 for fair housing enforcement
actions and to conduct investigations of systemic housing discrimination.
The Reading-Berks Human Relations Council of Reading received $160,000 to provide
community-based fair housing intake, investigations, mediation, conciliation, testing and education
The Tennessee Fair Housing Council, based in Nashville, received $349,875 to continue its
efforts of enforcement through testing, filing of fair housing complaints, complaint processing and
the gathering and dissemination of fair housing information and data.
Memphis Area Legal Services received $124,618 to implement a program to identify and take
action to remove architectural barriers to fair housing for individuals with disabilities.
A Fair Housing Center in Houston will be started by the National Fair Housing Alliance, which
received $399,989 for the Project. Houston is regarded as an underserved area - one that currently is not served by a private or public fair housing enforcement organization. Activities being funded
under the grant will address the fair housing needs of new immigrant groups and those of other
Hidalgo County received $88,895 to promote equal opportunities and to eliminate fair housing
barriers through a newly created fair housing center for Hidalgo County.
The San Antonio Fair Housing Council received $350,000 to sustain its relatively new
organization. Funds will also be used to recruit and train testers, conduct 282 tests, investigate fair
housing complaints and to undertake litigation.
The Austin Tenant's Council received $93,999 to address a high denial rate for minority home mortgage applicants and to address the lack of accessible housing in Austin, Texas.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond received $350,000 to undertake an
enforcement project which covers two thirds of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Fair Housing
protections will be provided for African-Americans, Hispanics and other protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
The Northwest Fair Housing Alliance (NWFHA) received $350,000 to continue its enforcement activities in Spokane and to extend its services to immigrants and American Indian citizens.