Commission on Human Rights
HUD to present at monthly Human Rights Commission Hearings
LOUISVILLE – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will present a check to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights for just under $100,000 at the beginning of the commission’s monthly meeting. The commission kindly invites the media and public to attend at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at KCHR headquarters in Louisville.
The commission is honored to be a recipient of the $99,800 Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) Grant to increase education and outreach programs to communities with disabilities, housing providers, and immigrants and refugees across Kentucky. These programs will work to educate people about the rights and responsibilities under the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Kentucky Fair Housing Act.
“This FHIP grant will help the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights to provide critical programs to ensure a safe and prosperous future for the people of our state as we learn more how to live and work together, enjoying the rights to equality and the benefits to everyone of diversity and mutual understanding,” said John J. Johnson, executive director of the state Human Rights Commission. “This money is sorely needed in light of the commission’s already small budget and the state’s budget crisis, he said. “We are concerned about our capability to reach the 120 counties of Kentucky while our state population quickly grows in diversity, and we appreciate this HUD funding,” Director Johnson said.
The grant is for a one year period and will focus on northern, south central and eastern Kentucky. KCHR applied for the grant due to a great need to reach out to underserved populations.
Kentuckians with disabilities constitute 23.7 percent of the total population of Kentucky. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were about 180,000 immigrants in Kentucky in 2007, and this population continues to increase. With the FHIP grant, KCHR will be able to conduct fair housintg workshops, trainings, tranlsate fair housing materials, place fair housign ads, broadcast fair housing radio commercials, and publish printed fair housing materials for the public.
The commission board is expected to rule on a number of complaints after the HUD presentation. Up for consideration are four case conciliations: two from Bowling Green, one on the basis of the protected class of Familial (Family) Status in the jurisdiction of Housing, and one based on Disability in Housing; there are two from Madision, both based on Familial Status in Housing.
The KCHR is the state government agency that enforces The Kentucky Civil Rights Act and the policies of federal civil rights laws. It receives initiates, investigates, conciliates and rules upon jurisdictional complaints. The KCHR has jurisdiction in housing, employment, public accommodations, and financial transactions.
The Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, employment, housing, and financial transactions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, and sex.
Discrimination is further prohibited on the basis of familial status in housing, the basis of age (40 or over) in employment, and the basis of a person’s tobacco-smoking status in employment.