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April is Fair Housing Month

WASHINGTON – April 3, 2014 – Each April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses Fair Housing Month to mark the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act that passed shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s Fair Housing Month theme is “Fair Housing is Your Right: Use It!”

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and family status.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan launched this year’s commemoration at an event featuring the new film “A Matter of Place,” which documents three personal stories of housing discrimination in New York City. Underwritten by a grant provided under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiative Program, the film profiles three examples of housing discrimination based on race, sexual orientation and source of income. It features commentary from legal experts, civil rights advocates and fair housing testers.

“This month is an opportunity to recommit to the principle that fair housing is an essential part of everything we do; every grant we make; every building we build; and every community we work with,” says Donovan. “And we will go to the mat in order to ensure the right of every American to fair housing. Although the times have changed, our commitment to this work remains as strong as ever. It is at the core of our mission.”

In addition to legal protections under the Fair Housing Act, about 20 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities, towns and counties also prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families. In 2012, HUD published new regulations to ensure that its core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In addition, 12 states, the District of Columbia, and several counties and municipalities protect persons against housing discrimination based on their source of income.

The HUD film, “A Matter of Place,” may also be viewed online.

Related Topics: Fair housing