HUD, National Fair Housing Alliance Campaign Will Address Housing Discrimination
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 3, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) today launched a national media campaign to educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. The campaign, titled “Fair Housing Is Your Right. Use It,” includes English, Spanish, and Chinese radio and print public service advertisements (PSAs) that feature examples of actions which violate the Fair Housing Act and let the public know what to do if they experience housing discrimination. In addition to radio and print public service announcements, the campaign will use the latest digital and social me-dia to amplify the outreach effort.
The launch of the campaign coincides with the beginning of Fair Housing Month when the nation marks the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act following the assassination of Dr. Martin Lu-ther King, Jr. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or disability. This year’s Fair Housing Month theme is “Our Work Today Defines Our Tomorrow,” spotlighting HUD’s current enforcement and education and outreach efforts and the work of its fair housing partners are helping to foster sus-tainable, inclusive communities of opportunity for future generations.
One of the campaign’s print ads features a woman in a wheelchair and her service animal, drawing attention to persons with disabilities who often face housing discrimination. Another print ad featuring a woman wearing traditional Muslim headdress highlights the persistence of discrimination based on religion. Each PSA encourages anyone who experiences discrimination to call HUD’s hous-ing discrimination hotline (1-800-669-9777), contact a local fair housing agency, or visit HUD’s fair housing Web site:www.HUD.gov/fairhousing.
“Forty-five years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act, unlawful discrimination con-tinues to keep many individuals and families from obtaining the housing of their choice,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The campaign being launched today will help HUD and our fair housing partners combat discrimination by arming the pub-lic with information about their fair housing rights and informing housing providers about their respon-sibilities under the law.”
“The National Fair Housing Alliance and HUD have a long history of working together to promote fair housing throughout this country,” said Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of the Na-tional Fair Housing Alliance. “Those seeking to rent, own, buy or insure a home need ongoing educa-tion about their fair housing rights and how to take action if they suspect discrimination. We are pleased to have this opportunity to teach people that they have the power to fight housing discrimina-tion and that contacting a local fair housing center or HUD is the first step in that process.”
In conjunction with the new PSA campaign, HUD and NFHA are also unveiling videos featuring people who experienced housing discrimination discussing how HUD or one of its partners provided assistance. One woman talks about how she was discriminated against because she was hard of hearing, while another shares her story of how a landlord denied her an apartment because she has children. These videos can be viewed on HUD’s YouTube channel.
The campaign’s PSAs will run in advertising space and in timeslots donated by the me-dia. Radio PSAs, which can be tailored to include the contact information for a local fair housing or-ganization, will be distributed to more than 3,500 radio stations and networks throughout the United States. Television PSAs will be released later this year.
In February, HUD launched the first housing discrimination mobile app for iPhone and iPad to provide the public with a quick and easy way to learn about their fair housing rights and to file housing discrimination complaints. As a complement to HUD’s mobile app, NFHA released HTML 5 adaptive mobile pages, which are in English and Spanish and allow web content to display properly regardless of the brand of smartphone or tablet being used. In addition, the adaptive mobile pages al-low individuals to complete and submit the fair housing complaint form in Spanish. HUD is designing a “Quick Response code” ad campaign that will direct mobile users to the new adaptive pages.
Copies of the campaign’s PSAs can be obtained by going to www.HUD.gov/fairhousing or www.nationalfairhousing.org. Anyone who suspects that they are the victim of housing discrimination is encouraged to report it to HUD.
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 http://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.
About the National Fair Housing Alliance (www.nationalfairhousing.org) Founded in 1988, the National Fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of more than 220 private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National Fair Housing Alliance, through comprehensive education, advocacy and enforcement programs, provides equal access to apartments, houses, mortgage loans and insurance policies for all residents of the nation.