Staff Writer

BOSTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $114,013 to Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Inc. to help end housing discrimination in Vermont. These funds are part of $40.8 million being awarded nationally through the Department’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) both to help people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination and to educate housing providers about fair housing laws.
“No one should be denied the opportunity to live where they want because of how they look, their faith, whether they have children or because they have a disability,” said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator. “This grant will help us continue our efforts in Vermont to educate the public and housing industry about their housing rights and responsibilities.”
“FHIP organizations are important partners in combating housing discrimination,” said Anna María Farías, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The grants we are awarding today help to support these organizations on an ongoing basis.”
HUD’s FHIP grants support a wide range of fair housing enforcement, education, and outreach activities. These grants allow the groups to provide fair housing enforcement through testing in the rental and sales markets, to file fair housing complaints to HUD, and to conduct investigations. Additionally, the education and outreach activities these organizations conduct also help to educate the public, housing providers, and local governments about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.
FHIP grants are provided under three categories:
Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) - These awards help nonprofit fair housing enforcement organizations carry out investigations and other enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) - HUD awards these grants to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under federal law or state and local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.
Fair Housing Organizations Initiative grants (FHOI) - HUD awards these grants to help build the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations to continue and enhance enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).