The Fair Housing Act is an important law that requires those at every stage of the housing process to provide discrimination-free practices.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is at the forefront of efforts to insure fair housing, but the agency wants to do more than just act as the enforcement arm of Fair Housing law whether applicable to borrowers and house hunters or to those looking for rental properties.
HUD recently announced a partnership with the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., to develop the National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA).
According to a press release on the HUD official site, this academy “will prepare fair housing advocates, lawyers, investigators, and other stakeholders on effective strategies and techniques for addressing discriminatory housing policies and practices throughout the nation.”
As a result of this agreement, HUD will provide $1.5 million to John Marshall Law School; these funds are made available via the HUD Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building grant program.
In exchange, John Marshall Law School “will provide training related to civil rights history, current trends in housing discrimination, and investigating housing discrimination complaints.”
“The Academy will offer greater flexibility in how we prepare fair housing professionals to take on today’s fair housing challenges and represents an important step in training our fair housing partners around the country,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, who was quoted in the press release.
She adds, “The teaching approaches and cutting-edge instruction will be the beginning of a process that enhances our ability to fight discrimination and ensures that fair housing remains a central tenet of the American way of life.”
The arrangement includes a partnership with Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., including approximately $1.5 million for the company “to assist HUD in revolutionizing the way the Academy offers fair housing training throughout the nation”. This is said to include developing an online portal “to deliver trainings more effectively while resulting in significant cost savings to taxpayers” according to the HUD press release.
Housing discrimination affects those at every stage of the rental or house hunting process; often those who have been discriminated against are the only ones who can prevent future discrimination by reporting the offender and making the illegal activity known to HUD.
If you have experienced discrimination, file a complaintwith the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).