The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced $1.2 in funding toward the fight against housing discrimination. The HUD official site made the announcement on May 30, 2019.
The federal funding falls under the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to “support the efforts of 11 organizations to educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.”
April, which is Fair Housing Month, saw the agency award $15 million to similar types of organizations nationwide “to conduct a range of fair housing enforcement, capacity building and education and outreach” all designed to end discrimination at all stages of the housing process.
The Secretary of HUD was quoted in a press release stating,”HUD’s efforts to fight housing discrimination are force multiplied by local fair housing organizations across the country,” The HUD Secretary adds that the April and May grant money will “allow our partners to carry out the important work of rooting out unfair policies and practices and enforcing our nation’s fair housing laws.”
The May grant money is provided under the Education and Outreach Initiatives component of FHIP, helping to educate the public and housing providers about state or local housing laws that are “substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act”.
Remember, it is a violation of federal law to discriminate at any stage of the housing process. The HUD official site reminds us this includes “the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities.”
Fair Housing laws do not allow discrimination “because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. A variety of other federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibit discrimination in housing and community development programs and activities, particularly those that are assisted with HUD funding.”
Your Fair Housing Act rights include a landlord or property owner’s obligation to take “reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) and taking appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities through the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services. “
Have you experienced discrimination in housing? File a complaint with the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).