Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington
David Berenbaum (202) 289-5360 ext. 34
National Fair Housing Alliance
Shanna Smith (202) 289-5360
Liberty Mutual Group
John Cusolito (617) 574-5512 or
Betsy Bottino (617) 574-6638
Washington, D.C. For Immediate Release Liberty Mutual Group and the National Fair Housing Alliance jointly announced on Wednesday, June 9th, 1999 that the insurer has opened a new office in the District of Columbia and is donating $3.25 million to the National Fair Housing Alliance to enhance redevelopment and homeownership opportunities in the District. The Alliance will channel this generous contribution through its local member organization, the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, to administer home ownership, fair housing, mobility and related diversity programs at a new neighborhood based location. All of these funds are dedicated to these programs and are specifically targeted for the District of Columbia.
This innovative partnership arose out of the resolution between the National Fair Housing Alliance and Liberty Mutual of a fair housingcomplaint filed by NFHA in 1997. "Our partnership with the National Fair Housing Alliance and the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington will provide the opportunity to strengthen our commitment to the District of Columbia as well as other urban neighborhoods," said Alex Faulds, sales manager of the local office. "Liberty Mutual believes in helping people live safer, more secure lives, and this partnership will help expand insurance opportunities for everyone," he added.
David Berenbaum, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, said he is looking forward to a relationship that benefits Washington, D.C. residents and both organizations. "The Council is committed to expanding equal housing opportunities. We applaud Liberty Mutual for its past efforts and future commitment to District of Columbia residents. Liberty Mutual's contribution to the community will be a significant addition to our existing Fair Housing Center of the District of Columbia programs and will help implement our newest initiatives which will include mobility counseling, below-marketloans, down payment assistance, fair housing counseling, and education and outreach activities," Berenbaum said.
Shanna L. Smith, executive director of NFHA, said, "Liberty Mutual is fulfilling its promise to serve the needs of people living in the District of Columbia by opening this new office and making a significant financial contributionto programs that will increase and preserve homeownership opportunities. Racial and economic integration improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods and our schools and enhances business opportunities. We applaud the leadership role Liberty Mutual is taking in the District and nationally."
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said, "The agreement between Liberty Mutual Group and the National Fair Housing Alliance will help us achieve the Clinton Administration goals of increasing homeownership among minorities and in cities, and of helping to reduce housing discrimination. Im glad that Liberty Mutual has pledged to help us achieve these goals by giving more families the opportunity to buy the insurance they need to become homeowners."
The organizations credit the HUD mediation process with helping them reach such a positive result. The National Fair Housing Allliance was one of five groups around the country sharing a $1.5 million HUD grant to conduct testing to determine if insurance companies were offering policies to minority homeowners and to residents of urban neighborhoods on a non-discriminatory basis.
The new District office of Liberty Mutual is located at 1620 L Street NW, Suite 1250, and opened on March 8. The new office will provide area residents with a local, convenient source for personal insurance protection and services, such as auto, homeowners and life products.
Liberty Mutuals new District office is staffed by resident sales representative Dennis Taylor, sales representative Andel Clarke and service specialist Sheila Mitchell. They are available from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Appointments outside these hours can be arranged to fit consumers schedules by calling 202-728-1199. Claims representatives also will work in the office.Liberty Mutual's new D.C. office recently donated 100 bicycle safety helmets for the Bike Right Rodeo and participated in the D.C. Safe Kids Coalition child safety seat program. The office is also a member of the D.C. Chamber
of Commerce. Through the company's Group Savings Plus program, it will provide discounted insurance to members of such local associations as the American Psychological Association and toemployees of the Communications Workers of America.
The Reverend Doctor James G. Macdonell, President of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, applauded the Liberty Mutual announcement today. "The Liberty Mutual Groups corporate commitment investing in the District of Columbia Marketplace at a time the Districts economy is growing exponentially must be applauded and is another indicator of the Districts resonant business climate."
Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified international financial services company and multi-line insurer in the property and casualty industry.
Along with personal insurance coverage and services, Liberty Mutual Group provides a wide range of products and services, including general liability, commercial auto and business property, group life and disability, individual life and annuities, international programs, and financial services.
The Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington is the principal fair housing organization serving theDistrict of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland. The Council's primary objectives are to promote equal housing opportunity educate and assist the public regarding fair housing rights and opportunities, ensure compliance with federal and local fair housing statutes, and to promote the creation of racially and economically integrated communities. Visit "The Fair Housing Network" at www.fairhousing.org
The National Fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of 85 private, non-profit fair housing enforcement organizations from throughout the United States. Itis committed to working with the housing, lending and insurance industries to promote equal housing opportunity and access to housing-related services that benefit America's neighborhoods.