Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today premiered HUD's new cutting edge, multimedia campaign designed to fight housing discrimination by showing the many faces of those persons
protected by the nation's 35-year-old Fair Housing Act. Produced by New York-based ad agency Merkley Newman Harty in partnership with The Advertising Council, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Education Fund (LCCREF) and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), the new campaign directs the audience to HUD's toll free hotline 1-800-669-9777. The ads are intended to raise public awareness
of federal law prohibiting discrimination and to encourage victims and witnesses to report acts of housing bias. "These print and broadcast public service announcements are a powerful demonstration
that it is not only wrong to discriminate in housing, it is against the law," said Martinez. "Thirty-five years after this important civil rights legislation, it is important to remember that fair
housing isn't optional. It is a right." Martinez unveiled the new public service campaign to an annual conference of hundreds of fair housing professionals meeting in Atlanta. Each year, HUD hosts
fair housing practitioners to discuss an array of issues including effective investigative techniques, predatory lending practices, accessibility issues for persons with disabilities and innovative
public education approaches.