April 1, 2022
The Department of Housing and Urban Development observes Fair Housing Month in April each year.
Fair Housing Month always features a theme. In 2022 that theme is Fair Housing: More Than Just Words. It’s meant to raise awareness of the federal government’s commitment to ensuring fair housing opportunities are available to all who want them.
In a press release discussing Fair Housing Month, HUD notes that equal opportunity for housing isn’t simply about finding a place to live without unnecessary barriers to entry. “(W)here we live impacts nearly every part of our lives,” according to HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, who is quoted in the press release.
She adds, “Fair Housing Month is a time to recommit to our mission to promote fairness, inclusion, and justice in housing. This month and every month, we are doing everything in our power to ensure every person has a fair shot at the American dream.”
During Fair Housing Month, HUD partners with local communities, fair housing organizations, and advocates to raise awareness of Fair Housing Act requirements. HUD also runs events, seminars, and community projects during April.
The Fair Housing Act was passed 54 years ago but HUD notes the fight against housing discrimination continues. How much so? In 2021, The HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program fielded more than 8,500 Fair Housing complaints.
Those complaints include allegations of discrimination “based on one or more of the Fair Housing Act’s seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), family status, and disability” according to HUD.
Which were the biggest areas of complaint in 2021? Discrimination based on disability and race made the top of the list, with other complaints alleging discrimination in housing-related loans, and sexual harassment.
We report on these Fair Housing issues because not knowing your rights makes you vulnerable to being taken advantage of in such cases. Sometimes the only thing preventing future discrimination is the actions taken by victims of it.
What can you do if you’ve experienced housing discrimination? Call the HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay). You can also file housing discrimination complaints online at hud.gov/fair housing.