Duly Noted

Michigan Department of Civil Rights receives grants from HUD to fight housing discrimination in Michigan

The  States UnitedDepartment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) seven grants, totaling $185,000, to enforce fair housing laws and help communities and providers better understand their rights and responsibilities. These awards are part of more than $7.5 million distributed across the nation.

“A key component of MDCR’s mission is to fight discrimination in any form it is found. These awards, and our continued partnership with HUD, will help expand our outreach to a wider audience,” said Daniel H. Krichbaum, MDCR Director. “We will be able to reach more landlord associations, realtor groups, fair housing staff, lenders and law enforcement officers and expand their knowledge of both fair housing and their expertise on hate crimes within the housing context. Our partners will, in turn, be better equipped to detect and refer fair housing complaints to the proper enforcement agencies. Finally, we will be able to address a need for education on housing advertising, disability accessibility, unlawful treatment in senior and disabled complexes, and service/companion animal cases.”

These funds will also be used to promote HUD’s new Equal Access to Housing regulation, which ensures that HUD housing and programs are open to all families, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

“With these funds, state and local government agencies on the front line of the fight will be able to continue their efforts to take on today’s many fair housing challenges,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in announcing the awards.

MDCR is also running a public service campaign called Only Fair is Fair, to emphasize that “When it comes to the places Michiganders interact with each other - where we live, work, learn and cross paths in the world - there's no compromising on basic fairness.” The television ad can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lge0X5f0NHE; there is also a one-minute Public Service Announcement for use on radio.

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