April 2015 has been proclaimed as Fair Housing Month. During this time, local agencies come together to celebrate the signing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 which protects people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for housing. The Central Texas Council of Governments along with the City of Killeen hosted an information desk at the Killeen Workforce Center on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 geared toward getting the word out that there are local programs available to assist those who qualify.
Maria Barraza, HOME Program Coordinator, and Jennifer Guzman, with the City of Killeen Community Development, distributed information about the First Time Home Buyer Program and the Housing Rehabilitation Program. The First Time Home Buyer Program offers up to $7,500 in assistance for down payment and closing costs to those families who qualify. The Housing Rehabilitation Program offers financial assistance for those qualifying residents who already own a home but need to make plumbing, electrical, HVAC , or roof repairs. Maria praises the home buying program because, “It is hard for a lot of the households to save for the purchase of a home while paying everyday expenses and rent.” She goes further to say, “the program also makes necessary repairs to bring the home up to current codes and standards.” This should allow the family at least 5 years of worry-free saving before being confronted with major repairs.
Jennifer believes the most significant impact from the rehabilitation program is, “by assisting families in securing safe, sanitary housing, we enhance and revitalize neighborhoods within the city. This helps the low to moderate income citizens of Killeen preserve their homes and their families.”
Jim Martin, Regional Planner for Economic Development, with the Central Texas Council of Governments made sure that those who stopped by left with information regarding what to do if they believed themselves to be victims of discrimination. This information guides people where to go and what to expect during the process of reporting housing discrimination. Jim says, “As the old saying goes ‘Knowledge is Power’ and now with this newly acquired ‘knowledge,’ those individuals that stopped by the event and received housing information, have a newly acquired ‘power’ when dealing in the housing marketplace.”
For more information contact:
Jim Martin, Central Texas Council of Governments, email@example.com .