Transcript of PREVENT HATE Twitter Chat with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

PREVENT HATE is beginning to offer the general public access to various leaders, movers, and shakers globally in order for all of you to gain additional insight as to what is happening throughout the world, and how you can get involved making your own communities better for all its inhabitants. Part of this is through our Twitter account by hosting chats with various officials so that you can make your voices heard, and have your questions answered.

On September 15, 2009, PREVENT HATE hosted a Twitter chat with John Trasviña, the United States Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. The full transcript of the chat is as follows.

10:01 AM We are beginning our chat with the US Asst. of Fair Housing, John Trasvina. Welcome Assistant Secretary!

10:01 AM For the next hour, our Tweets will be from the US Assistant Secretary … Begin now
10:02 AM I am happy to be with you in Los Angeles and across the country

10:04 AM Q1) Section 3 requires low income people to get job training, but what about about people with disabilities who can’t work?


10:06 AM A1) Just b/c someone has a disability does not disqualify him/her from work and the point of Sec. 3 is to promote job options for low income


10:07 AM Not options … job opportunities for low income

10:08 AM Does housing law extend to the #LGBT community?
10:09 AM A2) Currently does not cover GLBT. We are looking at the experiences in the 22 states and DC where such discrimination is illegal.
10:10 AM A2 cont’d) In CA you can go to for more info.


10:11 AM  @Najia7 @WyreDragon Please go ahead
10:16 AM Q3) Are you aware that there increase in homeless female veterans who have PTSD from rape by other military colleagues?
10:17 AM A3) VA and HUD together Sec. Shiseki and Sec. Donavan are collaborating on programs to support homeless vets. DHHS SAMSA has trauma network.

10:18 AM @Najia7 Does your dept focus on green building/improve indoor air quality/saving energy/creating jobs with #SOLAR public housing?


10:19 AM in reply to Najia7 We focus on sustainable communities. Some focus is on energy innovation w/in home and making sure transportation and housing are in synch

10:20 AM @WyreDragon What actions are being taken to prevent predatory lending practices?
10:21 AM in reply to WyreDragon HUD focuses on making homes affordable, which means we try to keep ppl in homes and prevent forclosures, and help modify their situations

10:22 AM 61% of ppl who had subprime mortgages qualified for traditional loans and did not have to be in the situation they now find themselves in


10:22 AM Go to for more info.

10:23 AM @Najia7 how about mobilizing communities with diverse groups to work together on green housing projects to release possible tensions?

10:24 AM We all have a stake & role in doing that. I will be speaking to a group later this wk – Building One America – which revitalizes communities

10:27 AM Q4) How can someone who is currently homeless get into public housing?


10:28 AM A4) They should go to local housing authority to see if they qualify for Sec. 8 voucher. There are local programs and types of assistance.
10:29 AM Also, you can go to to learn about various types of programs and assistance available for homeless individuals and families.


10:30 AM Q5) Is all public housing ADA compliant?
10:32 AM A5) Accessibility to housing is protected by the Amer. w Disabilities act. Also …

10:33 AM Our off. enforces Sec. 504 of Rehab Act & 1988’s Fair Housing amendments, which ensures access to units of 4+ unit buildings built after ’91


10:36 AM Q6) The LA Riots of 1991 were based on bad lending, by allowing immigrants to get loans more easily than locals. Any comment?


10:38 AM A6) I disagree with the premise that this is what happened. African-Americans and immigrants both have been victimized by predatory lending


10:39 AM Q7) Does preventing discrimination based on sex include people who have changed their sex medically?

10:40 AM A7) If one can prove that discrimination is against sex, then yes If based on sexual orientation, more likely covered by state or local laws
10:41 AM One of most compelling arguments to expand the law is research that many LGBT people have to hide their identity to get a home.

10:42 AM Nobody should have to hide their identity in USA


10:43 AM Q8) What would it take to have sexual orientation to be covered as a category that cannot be discriminated against?

10:44 AM A8) It would take a bill approved by Congress and signed by the President

10:45 AM Q9) Why don’t people have to speak English to get federal funds and public housing?

10:47 AM A9) The protection of Constitution extends to all who speak other languages as well as those born with English on the tongue — Meyer vs. NE
10:47 AM Meyer vs. Nebraska is the case

10:48 AM Q10) Does your office work with community groups to provide services and programs in public housing?


10:49 AM A10) We focus on fair housing. Yes we work with community grps and offer funding to prevent discrimination in housing


10:50 AM Q11) Does your office consider AIDS related discrimination as disability discrimination?


10:51 AM A11) AIDS discrimination may be considered discrimination against a disability according to the law


10:53 AM Q12) Have you seen an increase in people requesting public housing?


10:54 AM A12) For more information about this, please visit


10:56 AM After 41 years of law, housing discrimination still persists. I encourage people to check out, or call 1-800-669-9777.

10:57 AM @NAMIMass There has always been a public housing shortage in MA. Housing is the hardest need to fulfill for the mentally ill

10:58 AM in reply to @NAMIMass Many thought the work was over in ’88 when we expanded the Fair Housing law to protect ppl with disabilities but we need more work

10:58 AM @NAMIMass NAMI is a valuable leader in the effort!

10:59 AM And so is Matt Rosenthal of PREVENT HATE. Thank you! — End chat.

11:01 AM PREVENT HATE sincerely thanks Asst. Secretary Trasvina of Fair Housing at HUD for his time, wisdom, and dedication, and for this chat.

1 Comment

  1. I agree.Fantastic article.

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