The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Texas Apartment Association (TAA) announced Thursday (August 2, 2007) that they are sponsoring a housing accessibility training session on August 15, 2007, in Houston. The session is designed to educate architects, builders, and developers about federal accessibility requirements. HUD and TAA are working to effectuate one of the objectives of a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed on April 19, 2007 to work together to promote fair housing in Texas.
The one-day session, which will be held at the Houston Apartment Association’s Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center, will consist of training modules on the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements, common design and construction violations and solutions, and making housing accessible through accommodations and modifications.
“Texas residents who have physical disabilities shouldn’t have to face a shortage of housing that meets their needs because builders have failed to comply with the law,” said Kim Kendrick, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD launched Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST to increase housing opportunities for persons with disabilities, and we are committed to working with the Texas Apartment Association to meet this goal.”
“TAA is excited about working with HUD to educate our members and other industry professionals about fair housing accessibility issues. This training is only one of many steps toward this goal,” said Josh Allen, CAM, CAMT II, CAPS, NAHP-E, TAA’s 2007-08 president.
Launched in 2003, Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is a HUD-funded program that promotes compliance with the Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements. The program consists of a comprehensive training curriculum, a Web site, and a Design and Construction Resource Center (888) 341-7781 that provides technical guidance to the public. BearingPoint, a company based in McLean, VA, administers the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST program.
Persons interested in attending the training session, which starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 4:45 p.m., may register by going to the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Web site: www.fairhousingfirst.org. For more information about the training, call (703) 747-3625.
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal and Opportunity and its partners in the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 10,300 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at 1 (800) 669-9777 (voice), (800) 927-9275 (TTY). Additional information is available at www.hud.gov/fairhousing.