For Immediate Release
Grant Beck, Equal Rights Center, 202.370.3227



WASHINGTON, September 26, 2013—Today the Equal Rights Center (ERC)—a national non-profit civil rights organization — announced that it has been awarded two federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP).

The ERC is the recipient of a three-year Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) grant, which will support testing investigations and intake complaint assistance throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The ERC will receive $325,000 for the first year of the grant, with future funding contingent upon HUD’s budget .The ERC will also receive a one-year $125,000 Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) grant, which will support the dissemination of fair housing information to diverse communities through workshops, trainings, publications, and online communications.

“The ERC is honored to be a recipient of these grants, and to continue to partner with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in promoting equal housing opportunity for all,” said Don Kahl, Executive Director of the ERC. “With these funds, we will continue to provide education and outreach, testing, and advocacy to protect and promote fair housing, and will be able to further grow this work to reach the most vulnerable individuals and communities.”

The ERC has received numerous grants from HUD in years past, including the first performance-based multiyear PEI grant for the region. The PEI grant awarded yesterday will provide long-term growth of the organization’s civil rights testing and intake complaint activities. Through its fair housing testing initiatives, the ERC is able to isolate and identify discriminatory housing practices. The time-tested and innovative testing methodologies utilized by the ERC are recognized and accepted by the civil rights community, government agencies, and federal and state courts. Under the ERC’s current HUD PEI grant funding, the ERC has conducted approximately 150 civil rights tests per year that address housing discrimination based on race, national origin, disability, and familial status. The ERC also assists several hundred individuals with their housing discrimination complaints.

EOI grants, like the one awarded yesterday, have allowed the organization to greatly expand education and outreach activities in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area through “Know Your Rights” presentations, public service advertisement (PSA) campaigns, and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of ERC educational materials, with special attention given to vulnerable communities.

“This grant will allow the ERC to conduct more tests in our current areas of concern as well as expand our testing efforts into additional areas,” said John Baker, ERC Fair Housing Program Manager. “The ERC’s testing program is an integral aspect of our work to advance civil rights and creates real change, helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of many.”

In total, HUD awarded $38.3 million to 95 fair housing organizations and other non-profit organizations as part of its efforts to reduce housing discrimination nationwide.


About the Equal Rights Center (
Originally formed in 1983, the Equal Rights Center (ERC) is a national non-profit civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. With members located in every state and the District of Columbia, the ERC works nationally to promote equal opportunity in housing, employment, disability rights, immigrant rights, and access to public accommodations and government services for all protected classes under federal, state, and local laws.

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