The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) have rolled out their national media campaign to fight foreclosures and discrimination. NFHA and HUD have partnered to create a national media campaign that informs consumers about alternatives to foreclosure, how to avoid predatory loan terms and how to recognize and report rental discrimination. NFHA's members nationwide, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and other groups will assist with distributing the materials.
"Many families, particularly minorities, have been victims of aggressive and misleading marketing of risky loan products and foreclosure rescue scams," said HUD Secretary Donovan. "As we implement President Obama's Making Home Affordable plan to deal with the foreclosure crisis we need to ensure that families in trouble with their mortgages are not hurt a second time with scams. Foreclosure scams are destructive, devastating, and deceptive, and I'm thrilled that the National Fair Housing Alliance, in partnership with HUD is launching an ad campaign to address the fair housing challenges in the foreclosure crisis, including predatory lending and foreclosure scams."
Secretary Donovan spoke at NFHA's annual conference "Fair Housing in the 21st Century: Realizing a More Perfect Union" at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
"Today, we are witnessing the devastating effects of the foreclosure crisis in communities across the country - a loss of wealth and housing security, depleted tax-bases, reduced social and municipal services, and less funding for schools," said Shanna L. Smith, NFHA President and CEO. "Every day, communities of color and lower-income borrowers are disproportionately shouldering the fallout of years of abusive and predatory lending. We are happy to be able to partner with HUD today to make sure all families know their rights."
The campaign is designed to target:
(1) Families in immediate need to refinance;
(2) Families in or on the brink of foreclosure;
(3) Families facing eviction or already in the rental market: and
(4) Families ready to purchase a home.
The media campaign includes print ads and posters addressing foreclosure prevention, predatory lending and rental discrimination in English, Spanish and Chinese; television public service announcements (PSA) in English and Spanish; radio PSAs in English and Spanish; a movie slide; and an airport diorama. In total, 26 products with some variations in English, Spanish and Chinese will be produced for this campaign.
Foreclosure prevention: Materials drive consumers to the Making Home Affordable Web site (www.makinghomeaffordable.gov), where consumers can learn about alternatives to foreclosure, get linked to HUD-certified housing counseling agencies, and reach their servicers.
Anti-Predatory Lending: Materials drive consumers to HUD's Web site at www.hud.gov/fheopredatorylending. There, consumers can learn how to access the media campaign materials, information, website links and contact information for government, public and private groups/businesses about mortgage lending opportunities and how to recognize and report lending discrimination.
Rental Housing Discrimination: Materials drive consumers to HUD's Web site at www.hud.gov/fairhousing. Consumers will be more aware of how to recognize and report rental discrimination and find links to government and non-profit enforcement and counseling agencies.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. It also covers all housing transactions and services, including advertising, rentals, sales, lending, and insurance, as well as harassment.
For more information, visit www.hud.gov or www.nationalfairhousing.org.