LatinaLista -- Housing discrimination exists in this country. It's a fact. In 2010, more than 10,000 fair housing discrimination complaints were received by the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development according to the recently released analysis, Live Free: Annual Report on Fair Housing 2010.
Guess who is the largest group of people discriminated against when it comes to housing.
If you said Latinos or blacks, you would only be partially correct. They would count but only if they were disabled.
People with disabilities comprise 48 percent of the alleged discrimination complaints. Next comes racial discrimination at 34 percent and rounding out the top three is -- family status.
As a result of the findings, HUD has made it its mission to "create greater housing opportunities for minorities, families with children, and people with disabilities."
But HUD isn't just about settling discrimination complaints.
The department has stepped up its outreach to immigrants and translated more than 100 necessary documents into 17 languages, as well as, conducted national conferences to educate advocacy groups as to what are the housing rights of immigrants.
In addition, the report highlights how HUD, through its Section 3 program, is creating jobs for low-income residents of areas where HUD-funded construction is taking place, and contracting opportunities for the businesses that hire them.
Between 2009 and 2010, the program provided jobs to more than 16,000 residents and contracts to 2,900 Section 3 businesses. HUD also announced, in June, that it was providing $600,000 in competitive grants to enable public housing authorities and state and local agencies that receive Section 3 funding to hire a program coordinator to help report on the success of their job creation and training efforts.
On the horizon, may be one of the most significant rulings to ever come out of HUD. Department officials will issue a rule to clarify the definition of "family," as used in HUD programs. It will include all eligible LGBT couples and individuals.
"Our goal is to put an end to unlawful housing discrimination," said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "We have made progress in reducing housing discrimination, but more work needs to be done to make 'fair housing...part of the American way of life,' as President Johnson said in 1968 when he signed the Fair Housing Act into law."