May 23, 2011

Advancing Fair Housing as Communities Rebuild

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This post is also available in: Spanish

Our guest blogger today is John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

HUD and other federal agencies are working closely with state, local and private organizations to provide needed assistance to families and communities hard hit by tornados and flooding.  In the midst of this, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity (FHEO) is here to help housing providers comply with the Fair Housing Act and to ensure that housing opportunities are available for people from all backgrounds, without regard to race, religion, national origin, color, gender, disability or family status. 

We have developed guidance, especially for first-time housing providers who are helping neighbors in need, on how to easily comply with the Fair Housing Act, how to avoid housing discrimination and where to seek assistance. At the National Housing Locator Service, for instance, housing providers can designate whether their properties are accessible to people in wheelchairs or have amenities essential for the well-being and use by people with disabilities. 

Natural disasters affect everyone and bring great change. For instance, some people suffered injuries as a result of the storms, meaning they may need greater mobility assistance than before, even if their own house remained intact.  As communities rebuild, the Fair Housing Act is a critical law to follow so that some are not left behind. Available housing ads must not be geared to one group or another and should describe the property and not the welcomed new occupants. 

HUD is here to help.  For any questions about the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, please contact us at fheo_webmanager@hud.gov or 1-800-669-9777.

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