HUD Celebrates Fair Housing Month | The HUDdle Page 1 of 5
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April 1, 2011
HUD Celebrates Fair Housing Month
Written by: John Trasvina
April marks Fair Housing Month and the 43rd anniversary of President Johnson signing the Fair
Housing Act into law. Borne out of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and the
culmination of local and national civil rights struggles, the Fair Housing Act established the Office
of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity (FHEO) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. At FHEO, we and our partners and allies within HUD and across the nation carry out
and advance the cause of equality in housing throughout the year.
Too often, where we live determines our opportunities in life, including where we find employment,
where our children go to school, and the extent to which we have access to vital community services
and amenities. Where we live greatly influences our overall quality of life. By itself, the Fair
Housing Act does not end barriers to living free from discrimination. That cause depends upon
vigorous civil rights law enforcement, sustained public education, working with housing providers
and the real estate industry, and ensuring that HUD’s own house is in order.
Every April, we go beyond recognizing the many individuals whose determination and perseverance
significantly contributed to the passage of the law – visionary leaders like Senators Edward Brooke
and Walter Mondale, who co-sponsored the initial legislation. As with other civil rights advances,
the path to the Fair Housing Act began not in Washington, D.C., but by brave men and women in
cities and towns across the nation and their advocates whose principal aim was to create better
living environments for their families, free from discrimination.
Our 2011 Fair Housing Month theme, “Live Free,” sends a powerful message that discrimination
has no home in America and that no person should be denied housing or treated differently because
of their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status, or disability.
We are proud of the progress but not yet satisfied. We build on that progress and lengthen the
vision. In the past few months, our work has resulted in relief for discrimination victims in Renton,
Washington where African American and Latino tenants were charged higher rents for the same
units; in Pennsylvania where a mother was evicted for adopting a young boy; and in Alabama where
a trailer owner turned off the water to a white family’s unit until the young woman “lost” her black
boyfriend. On a more systemic basis, our work creates expanded services and investments in
minority communities in Southern Illinois, ends lending policies that discriminate against women on
maternity leave and ensures that HUD dollars meaningfully promote self-sufficiency for public
housing residents – access to jobs – and contracts for the companies who create those opportunities.
HUD Celebrates Fair Housing Month | The HUDdle Page 2 of 5
Together, FHEO and all of HUD share a singular purpose to invest public funds in communities that
promote and expand opportunities for all people. And we work to ensure that HUD housing and
programs are open to all families, irrespective of marital status, gender identity and sexual
The Fair Housing Act means that all persons can live free in the neighborhoods they choose. We
bring greater opportunity and resolve to end housing segregation. The product of our work together
will be most greatly felt by people we may never meet and in the years ahead. Nonetheless, the
importance of this effort to chart a new course of equality and opportunity is fundamental to
America’s founding and America’s future. That is what we celebrate in Fair Housing Month.
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8 Responses to HUD Celebrates Fair Housing Month
1. Pingback: 2011 Fair Housing Month – 43rd Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act « Austin
Michael F says:
April 1, 2011 at 10:52 am
And exactly how would one “live free in the neighborhoods they choose”? I’ve been living in
my neighborhood, paying a monthly rent for close to 20 years now. If I had my own house,
i’d either own it now or be ten years away from owning it.
I’m by no means poor, but i’m nowhere near rich. My credit’s probably on the borderline and
since I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck (for the most part), I wouldn’t have the fees
needed for a “down payment”.
So that means that I probably wouldn’t have the cash nor the credit score required to jump
through the MANY hoops that banks and realtors require you to jump through. Yet, i’ve been
paying some other homeowner rent for close to twenty years now.
Where does that leave me?
Dante Lee says:
April 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm