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Campaign to fight housing discrimination

Wednesday February 22, 2012

HUD AND THE NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING ALLIANCE LAUNCH MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Fair Housing Alliance(NFHA) announced today the launch of a new series of radio and print public service advertisements (PSAs).  The advertisements are designed to teach individuals and families how to recognize and report discrimination in housing because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status and disability, including discrimination in mortgage lending because of issues related to pregnancy and/or parental leave.

The campaign includes print ads in English, Spanish, and Chinese.  One print ad features a veteran who fought to defend our freedom yet faced discrimination because housing units were not accessible to people using wheelchairs. A second ad shows a doormat with the phrase “Not Welcome” which is designed to capture the attention of consumers so they can identify and report possible acts of housing discrimination. Another ad portrays an expectant mother who qualified for a mortgage but was illegally turned down for a loan because she was on maternity leave.

“Whether it’s a veteran who is turned down for an apartment because he is in a wheelchair or a mother who is denied a loan because she is on maternity leave, housing discrimination is wrong in whatever form it takes,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “I’m thrilled that the National Fair Housing Alliance, in partnership with HUD, is helping us inform people across the nation about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.  Now is the time to end housing discrimination.”

“The National Fair Housing Alliance is proud to work with HUD to combat housing discrimination through a creative set of public service announcements designed to educate millions of people about their rights,” said Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. “Where we live determines so much in life, including access to good education, health care and job opportunities. It is vital that people around the country be aware of their rights under the Fair Housing Act.”

The campaign also includes two sets of radio PSAs, in both English and Spanish. The PSAs portray people who experienced housing discrimination and encourage those who suspect discrimination to report it to HUD, and promote the Fair Housing Act’s goal of inclusive neighborhoods.  The PSAs are available at HUD.gov/fairhousingand www.nationalfairhousing.org.

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disability.

The PSAs encourage consumers to call 1-800-669-9777 or to visit www.HUD.gov/fairhousing. The PSAs will be distributed to media outlets nationwide and will run and air in advertising time and space donated by the media.