February 23, 2021

Media Contact:
Rachel Spitz
Communication Specialist and Program Manager

Tucson, Arizona – SERI has been awarded $125,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to educate and promote fair housing in the Tucson metropolitan area. Low-income and minority communities face the most hardship and damage to their livelihoods when discriminated against in housing and unfair evictions. Through SERI’s Fair Housing Initiative Program – Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI), SERI will spend the year helping residents, housing providers, and local governments know their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. Education and outreach initiatives will be provided in English, Spanish and Swahili. Collaborations will take place with community partners to help spread awareness of fair housing and services offered through SERI’s program. SERI’s program helps support state and local organizations and groups that enhance fair housing laws that are similar to the Fair Housing Act.

SERI’s already established program website page houses all program information. The community is encouraged to attend free fair housing educational classes on topics under the Fair Housing Act and review educational material and resources. To spread awareness of fair housing in the community SERI will execute promotions and advertisements through digital and print. Digital promotions and advertisements will be conducted in the form of public service announcements (PSAs), a social media campaign, digital advertisements, and videos. Print promotions and advertisements will be conducted in the form of public service announcements (PSAs), a direct-mail campaign, Sun Tran bus and bench advertisements, outreach event table banners, and a publication advertisement. When the state of our community’s health is better, SERI staff will attend community outreach events to distribute fair housing educational material and give presentations on fair housing.

SERI’s already established fair housing complaint inquiry system will assist those who believe they are victims of housing discrimination due to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and/or disability. A person can file a fair housing complaint inquiry with SERI by calling 520-306-0938 or filling out an online complaint inquiry form. SERI will respond within 1 business day. SERI is an Arizona Relay Friendly Service Business partner for those with hearing loss or speech disability and takes complaint inquiries in all languages through their use of a language service line. SERI collects initial intake information from clients and then refers them to Southwest Fair Housing Council (SWFHC) who assists clients with allegations of illegal housing discrimination, provides investigative assistance, counseling, mitigation of damages, refers clients to housing resources in Arizona and can refer the inquiry to HUD to determine whether a Federal Fair Housing complaint can be filed.


About SERI:

Founded in 1994, Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. (SERI) is a local non-profit in Tucson, Arizona partnering with limited-income and minority communities in the Southwest to help protect the environment, improve community health and build safe neighborhoods. SERI is an Arizona Relay Friendly Business.

About HUD:

Founded in 1965, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a federal agency responsible for national policy and programs that address America’s housing needs, improve and develop the Nation’s communities, and enforce fair housing laws.

This material is based on work supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under FHIP Grant FEOI 210028. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HUD.