Weekly Feature

2018-02-14 / Local News

Housing organization awarded federal grant

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins last week detailed the award of a $900,000 competitive federal grant for Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Western New York’s principal fair-housing organization.

HOME was awarded the grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Initiatives Program, designed to execute enforcement activities to eliminate discriminatory housing practices.

“Housing Opportunities Made Equal serves as both an educator for neighborhoods, tenants and landlords as well as advocate for victims of discrimination,” Higgins said. “This federal funding will help to continue the good work they do in our community.”

M. DeAnna Eason, HOME’s executive director, said the organization is grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the region.

“No one should be denied housing because of their membership in a protected class,” Eason said. “This funding will allow HOME to continue to educate the community on its rights and responsibilities under the law and to promote fair housing for all people.”

According to Eason, the federal grant, $300,000 over the next three years, will enable HOME to expand its enforcement of federal, state and local fair-housing laws to combat housing discrimination and systemic patterns of entrenched segregation that harm all Western New Yorkers.

Additionally, HOME will ensure residents are aware of their protections under fair-housing laws and work to foster stronger, more diverse communities with greater opportunities for all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, familial status or any other protected characteristic.

Eason added that in 2016, HOME assisted more than 4,800 individuals and investigated close to 200 reports.

For more information about HOME, visit www.homeny.org.

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