Iowa Fair Housing Awareness Project.
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, the Dubuque Human Rights Commission, and the Des Moines Human Rights Commission are the only agencies in Iowa which have been certified by HUD as "substantially equivalent agencies. These agencies enforce laws which are substantially equivalent to the federal housing law, Title VIII, and meet HUD's standards for investigation of housing complaints in their jurisdictions.
These agencies joined together to develop a Fair Housing Awareness Project that would heighten the awareness and knowledge of Iowans regarding fair housing, and applied for a grant from HUD. On December 2, 1987, the four agencies were notified by HUD that they had been awarded a grant of $145,065 for an 18-month project.
The first segment of the project was a fair housing conference held in Des Moines on April 8, 1988, timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Title VIII. Julian Bond was the keynote speaker, and Rachael Susz, a nationally known fair housing litigator, addressed the enforcement of the fair housing laws. A panel discussed the current status of fair housing in Iowa, along with recommendations for the future. At the evening banquet, J.B. Littlejohn, Director of the Hud's Fair Housing Assistance Program and Equal Opportunity for Region VII, was the speaker.
The second phase of the project will be the tour of the Fair Housing Mobile, a 28-foot motorhome outfitted with audiovisual displays and fair housing education materials. The mobile unit will visit all of Iowa's 99 counties during a 15-month period with the project manager conducting fair housing presentations in the communities visited. At the end of Fiscal Year 1988, the motorhome was being modified to needed specifications, and will soon be on the road.
The other segments of the project
include a survey of Iowans' attitudes on fair housing and other race-related
issues, a video documentary of the mobile's journey, and a final fair housing
conference. These segments, along with the mobile's contacts, will take
place during Fiscal Years 1989 and 1990.