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April 15, 2021  

Media Contact: 

Rachel Spitz
Communication Specialist

Tucson, Arizona – SERI has been awarded $103,175 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to participate in the Fair Housing Initiative Program – Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI). Over the course of 12-months SERI will help people in the Tucson, Arizona metropolitan area become more aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act and assist individuals who believe that they have been victims of housing discrimination. SERI will especially focus on helping low-income and minority communities as they have the least access to fair housing education, resources, and most affected by retaliation. 

During COVID, SERI’s education and outreach initiatives will be offered online and through direct mail by developing, coordinating, and executing a complaint system, web page, educational material, community partnerships, webinars, digital media campaigns, and advertising. 

SERI will have a complaint hotline for individuals who believe they are a potential victim of housing discrimination. SERI will respond within 1 business day, track complaints in its database, provide educational resources, and refer individual complaints to the proper agency. SERI will use the Fair Housing Act’s seven federally protected classes (race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability) as a guide for reviewing and referring complaints. 

SERI will have a fair housing web page and educational material for distribution (online and direct mail) to help increase the communities’ knowledge on fair housing issues and connect them with SERI’s program. The material will be in the form of educational brochures, handouts, and a complaint form. To increase outreach SERI will establish community partnerships with housing organizations. SERI will provide the community webinars on fair housing educational topics including the history of fair housing, the protected classes, ways to recognize housing discrimination, rights and responsibilities of the community, and SERI’s program. SERI will launch digital media and advertising campaigns to increase visitors to their fair housing web page and use of their complaint hotline. These campaigns will be executed through social media, broadcast, email, and print. 


About SERI: 

Founded in 1994, Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. (SERI) is a local non-profit in Tucson, Arizona working with low-income and minority communities in the Southwest to help protect the environment and improve the health and livelihood of those impacted by environmental stresses. SERI is a Arizona Relay Friendly Business. 

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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 EOI FEOI20038. 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.