February 4, 2014

That’s a First: A HUD Black History Fact

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weaverDid you know that Robert Weaver, the first Secretary of HUD was also sworn in as the first African-American to hold a cabinet-level position?

In fact, Weaver set the tone for HUD’s work today and is known for a series of firsts: working toward passage of the 1961 low-income rental housing program, the first piece of legislation passed by President John F. Kennedy’s administration; championing the 1968 Fair Housing laws to end discrimination; and, connecting housing to jobs in what we now call sustainable communities.

As a result, HUD continues to ensure that people live in inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination. The Fair Housing Act, the law that makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing base on race/color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability was signed on April 11, 1968, days after Dr. King’s assassination. And it was only the beginning of our work.

Today, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing’s and its Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) partner agencies receive over 9,000 complaints alleging some form of housing discrimination. And HUD continues to investigate individual acts of housing discrimination, and to obtain appropriate relief for its victims. The Department has also increased its efforts to create strong, sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering economic development, and helping to build a clean energy economy.

HUD recognizes that the work it does today has an incredible impact on the future of our nation and applauds Secretary Weaver for laying the foundation.

Shantae Goodloe is a Public Affairs Officer in HUD’s Office of Public Affairs.

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