The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) launched a national media campaign to educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. The campaign, titled “Fair Housing Is Your Right. Use It,” includes English, Spanish, and Chinese radio and print public service advertisements (PSAs) that feature examples of actions which violate the Fair Housing Act and let the public know what to do if they experience housing discrimination. In addition to radio and print public service announcements, the campaign will use the latest digital and social media to amplify the outreach effort.
The launch of the campaign coincides with the beginning of Fair Housing Month when the nation marks the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or disability. This year’s Fair Housing Month theme is “Our Work Today Defines Our Tomorrow,” spotlighting HUD’s current enforcement and education and outreach efforts and the work of its fair housing partners are helping to foster sustainable, inclusive communities of opportunity for future generations.
One of the campaign’s print ads features a woman in a wheelchair and her service animal, drawing attention to persons with disabilities who often face housing discrimination. Another print ad featuring a woman wearing traditional Muslim headdress highlights the persistence of discrimination based on religion.
“Forty-five years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act, unlawful discrimination continues to keep many individuals and families from obtaining the housing of their choice,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The campaign being launched today will help HUD and our fair housing partners combat discrimination by arming the public with information about their fair housing rights and informing housing providers about their responsibilities under the law.”
“The National Fair Housing Alliance and HUD have a long history of working together to promote fair housing throughout this country,” said Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance. “Those seeking to rent, own, buy or insure a home need ongoing education about their fair housing rights and how to take action if they suspect discrimination. We are pleased to have this opportunity to teach people that they have the power to fight housing discrimination and that contacting a local fair housing center or HUD is the first step in that process.”