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Monday, April 23, 2012

Statewide radio campaign, ‘All Doors Open,’
promotes right to fair housing in Kentucky

A new civil rights promotion campaign for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights hits the airwaves this week. The radio commercials will inform the public about the right to fair housing and the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights role as state authority to protect the right. The advertisements will be aired in all 120 counties of the state on 89 stations.

The campaign, called, “All Doors Are Open In Kentucky,” is part of the commission’s Fair Housing program that will go on throughout the year. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights has partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to conduct the campaign and the entire program.

The advertisements and public service announcements will be in English, and on Spanish-speaking Kentucky stations they will be aired in Spanish. The campaign will start with a commercial featuring Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear explaining that it is against the law to discriminate in the area of housing. People have the right to choose the housing they want and can afford without being discriminated against based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and family status.

The family status basis protects people who have children under age 18; landlords cannot deny families housing because the landlords do not want children living on their property. The law also protects women who are pregnant on the family status basis. It is also against the U.S. and Kentucky Civil Rights acts including the federal and state Fair Housing acts for newspapers and other publications to say in a “For Rent” or “For Sale” advertisement, “No children allowed.”

Another part of this year’s Fair Housing Campaign will be free trainings and workshops the commission will conduct to help people learn about their right to fair housing and to help people learn how to comply with the law. These will be held for people who are now Kentuckians but have originally come from other nations, disability protected class members or advocates, or for any community organization or community group, and the general public. Sessions will be held to train realtors, financial lending and bank officials, housing providers, and the general public how to comply with the law.

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights will also be providing fair housing and civil rights literature in languages other than English. These include translations in English-Braille, Arabic, Burmese, Karenni, Chin, French, Nepali, Kirundi, Tigrinya, and Swahili. The commission already produces the literature in English, Bosnian, Karen, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. These languages have been selected with help from organizations that assist Kentucky residents of other national origins and from U.S. Census demographics concerning the makeup of the Kentucky population.

Look for Kentucky Commission on Human Rights billboards that promote fair housing during the campaign. The first will be in Louisville on Kentucky Derby day and during the weeks just before and after. The Derby Digital sign will be located as autos travel southbound on I-65 near the Kentucky State Fairgrounds and near the approach to Louisville International Airport and the Watterson Expressway (I-264) Ramp that leads to Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Two more billboards will be posted from May to June in Frankfort. Look for one on Louisville Road (U.S. 60) as drivers head toward the state capitol near U.S. 127, and one on Versailles Road passed the I-64 ramp as drivers head toward downtown Frankfort.

For more information or help with housing discrimination, call the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights at 800-292-5566.

From the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.