Federal funding will support efforts to protect housing rights
Congressman Brian Higgins announced two Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) grants totaling $500,000 awarded to Housing Opportunities Made Equal Inc. (HOME). Funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHIP grants help experienced nonprofits, as well as state and local governments agencies, execute fair housing enforcement to eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
“Housing Opportunities Made Equal serves as a vital community advocate for families trying to navigate the legal system and their rights related to housing,” Higgins said. “This federal funding will help HOME continue their work to protect Western New Yorkers from housing discrimination.”
HOME Executive Director DeAnna Eason said, “This award will enable HOME to broaden our programs and services in an effort to fulfill the fair housing needs of WNY. Through education, outreach and enforcement, we hope to provide the community with the proper tools to combat housing instability.”
From this grant, $125,000 will be used to make referrals on unfair housing issues, evaluate potential complaints for enforcement, conduct fair housing workshops and panel discussions for housing professionals working with underserved communities, and develop an on-demand webinar to educate landlords on their responsibilities regarding COVID-19 and federal fair housing laws. It will also be used to raise community awareness both through public messaging and by providing information government representatives can share with residents.
HOME will also allocate $375,000 from this federal funding to support the intake of information and investigation of allegations of housing discrimination.
Leading the struggle for fair housing since 1963, HOME Inc. is a Western New York-based civil right organization that works to promote diversity and declare equal housing opportunity for all. Their mission is to ensure that Western New Yorkers have the opportunity to live in the housing and communities of their choice. HOME is the only agency in the area providing comprehensive services, including advocacy and enforcement, education and a housing mobility program for victims of housing discrimination. For more information, visit www.homeny.org.