John Marshall Receives HUD Grants to Help Expand Initiatives

The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal SupportCenter will be expanding its predatory home lending program and extending its programs to college students through two new United States Department of Housing and    Urban Development (HUD) grants.

The awards for $124,994 for the predatory lending program, and $99,980 for a new higher education component, were announced in March. “Ending housing discrimination takes more than the efforts of Washington,” said John Trasviña, HUD’s assistant secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity.

“These grants enable community groups to help HUD enforce the Fair Housing Act, make the public more aware of their fair housing rights and ensure that housing providers understand their responsibilities under the law.” Since 2003, when John Marshall first offered the Predatory Home Lending Law class, to more than 300 second- and  third-year students have learned the legal ramifications of the predatory lending issue. This grant will enable the program to go year-round giving students the opportunity to continue their community outreach at HUD-certified housing counseling agencies. Funding also will provide for four education outreach programs for homeowners and renters, housing counselors and attorneys as well as the creation and distribution of “A Consumer Guide to Fair Lending and Home Preservation” in English and Spanish.

The second award will help with the Center’s outreach to those interested in fair housing issues. A 14-week course with a 56-hour internship will be offered for 10 college students, especially those living or working in Chicago   neighborhoods, as well as Cook, DuPage and Lake Ccounties and Northwest Indiana.

These non-lawyers will learn about the Fair Housing Act, how cases are investigated, and how to conduct proper  testing. “Outreach is an important function for the Center,” said Professor Michael Seng, co-executive director of the Center. “I am excited that we can now make our work in predatory lending a year-round effort, and that we will be helping to expand into the communities through our new college program.”

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