The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to nonprofits in New York to test for housing discrimination among landlords and real estate agencies and to educate all participants in the housing market on fair housing law.
Locally, a $325,000 grant was awarded to Westchester Residential Opportunities in White Plains, which plans to expand its existing testing program to Putnam and Rockland counties.
From HUD’s announcement:
Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. – White Plains
FY12 Private Enforcement Initiative – Multi-Year Component – $325,000.00
Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. (WRO) will use its grant to continue to implement a systemic fair housing testing program and expand its geographic reach by engaging in more comprehensive testing throughout the lower Hudson Valley region of New York, including Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. WRO will continue testing for unlawful discrimination against Section 8 voucher holders, expanding to cover all three counties; and continue administering a comprehensive fair housing enforcement program, providing assistance to victims of housing discrimination through a vigorous program of complaint intake and investigation, and resolution through mediation or litigation. New activities will include co-sponsoring CLE education with Pace Law School to train regional lawyers how to litigate fair housing complaints, and implementing an Equal Housing in the Lower Hudson Valley Program.