HUD Secretary Ben Carson's open celebration of the 49th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act that was signed into law on April 11, 1968. He announced the theme for this year's month-long celebration would be “Fair Housing Equals Opportunity,” which will highlight the equality of housing and the ongoing effort to eliminate housing discrimination. Mr. Malcolm Peabody Jr., who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing in the Nixon administration, and developed the outlines for the Housing Choice Vouchers/Section 8, which gave low-income families a means to secure homes, was also present at the celebration along with today's Acting Assistant Secretary Bryan Greene.

Information and investment

During the month-long celebration HUD, along with state and local partners will host activities to increase awareness of fair housing and enforcement efforts. Information will be readily available about housing rights, enforcement efforts and ways to file a complaint on housing discrimination. HUD is also directing part of the $42 million in fair housing enforcement and outreach grants to initiative programs that address discrimination against families with children, as 12 % of the 8000 complaints filed last year addressed this type of discrimination. With efforts led by state and local partners, HUD plays a major role in making homes affordable with its investments in rental vouchers, and public and assistant housing.

With a $46.9 billion budget, 85% is used solely to renew rental assistance in HUD's subsidized housing programs.

Data shows decrease in homelessness

According to 2015 data subsidized housing programs have been shown to have reduced overall homelessness by 11% and homelessness among veterans by 36%. To help ease pressure from the recent tight renting market, HUD has increased its production of rental units by producing or rehabbing 37,155 units in 2015 through the Multi-Family House Program, 3,985 units in the Public and Indian House Program, and 14,779 units through its Community Planning and Development Program.

By September 30, 2017, HUD aims to preserve and expand rental housing to meet their goal of serving an additional 134,516 households.

“Equal access to housing is a fundamental promise of America,” said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Bryan Greene, who introduced the speakers. “When access to housing is unfairly limited, it, in turn, limits access to good paying jobs, quality schools, and economic opportunity.”