On April 10, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, announced the awarding of a combined $425,000 in federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants to Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. (WRO) to prevent housing discrimination and assist people who believe they have been treated unfairly.
“I am pleased to announce this federal investment in programs that spread awareness of housing law and help end discriminatory practices in renting and purchasing homes across the Lower Hudson Valley,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “In order for New York residents and communities to thrive, every individual and family must be treated fairly and have the tools and knowledge to advocate for themselves wherever discrimination occurs. As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to secure these resources for Westchester and Rockland Counties.”
WRO received two grants through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) totaling $425,000, to identify and handle complaints of housing discrimination. WRO seeks equal treatment for all federally protected classes in terms of disability, race, and familial status. Of the funds received, $300,000 is the first installment of a three-year grant to total $900,000 to conduct tests of housing providers. The second grant of $125,000 will be used to educate communities in Westchester to identify discriminatory practices.
“We have always been thrilled to have Nita Lowey representing us and know she has always been a strong supporter of fair housing,” said Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. Executive Director Marlene Zarfes. “The $300,000 will allow WRO to enforce housing laws by sending trained testers to housing providers to determine whether applicants are treated equally. The additional grant of $125,000 will be used for outreach, so that we can educate people about housing law.”
The Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) is designed to detect, prevent, and advocate for the victims of housing discrimination.