HUD awards $325,000 to Maine to fight housing discrimination

10 years ago

HUD awards $325,000 to Maine

to fight housing discrimination

    BOSTON — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $325,000 to Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc. in Maine in an effort to reduce housing discrimination. This funding is part of $38.3 million HUD awarded Sept. 25 to 95 fair housing organizations and other non-profit agencies in 38 states.

    Funded through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), these grants will help enforce the Fair Housing Act through investigation and testing of alleged discriminatory practices. In addition, the funds will educate housing providers, local governments and potential victims of housing discrimination about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.
    “Ending housing discrimination requires that we support the law of the land and protect the housing rights of individuals and families who would be denied those rights,” stated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Ensuring and promoting fair housing practices lies at the core of HUD’s mission and these grants enable community groups all over the nation to help families who are denied equal access to housing.”
    HUD New England Regional Administrator Barbara Fields added, “No one should be denied the opportunity to live where they want because of how they look, their faith, whether they have children or because they have a disability. These grants will help us continue our efforts to educate the public and housing industry about their housing rights and responsibilities.”
    Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Maine’s only qualified fair housing organization, will use its grant to operate Maine’s only statewide full-service fair housing project. Activities will include enforcement of federal and state laws prohibiting housing discrimination in rental housing as well as mobile home parks, an important source of homeownership in rural Maine. Testing will identify systemic discrimination against all protected categories, with a special emphasis on discrimination against underserved populations including individuals in rural areas, individuals with disabilities and those who are immigrants or have limited English proficiency.
    The project’s education and outreach efforts will strengthen awareness of fair housing laws among individuals vulnerable to discrimination, and strengthen capacity among government and nonprofit partners to enforce and extend fair housing protections for all vulnerable individuals throughout Maine.