HUD Awards $40 Million to Fight Housing Discrimination
HUD recently awarded $40 million to fair housing organizations across the nation working to confront violations of the nation's landmark Fair Housing Act and help end housing discrimination.
The grants are being awarded through the department's Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) to help people who believe they’ve been victims of housing discrimination and to educate the public and housing providers on the nation's fair housing laws.
More than $1 million of the funding is being awarded to grantees located in Opportunity Zones. Created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones aim to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities.
"HUD is committed to supporting efforts to rid discrimination from our society," HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. "The grants we are awarding today will enable our fair housing partner organizations to combat unlawful policies and behavior and foster practices that ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing, free from discrimination."
HUD's FHIP grants support a wide range of fair housing enforcement, and education, and outreach activities. The grants will allow the groups to provide fair housing enforcement through testing in the rental and sales markets, file fair housing complaints with HUD, and conduct investigations. Additionally, the education and outreach activities these organizations will conduct will help to educate the public, housing providers, and local governments about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.
The FHIP grants issued today are provided under HUD's Education and Outreach (EOI), Fair Housing Organization (FHOI), and Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) grant categories:
Private Enforcement Initiative grants: These awards help nonprofit fair housing enforcement organizations carry out investigations and other enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
Education and Outreach Initiative grants: HUD awards these grants to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under federal law or state and local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.
Fair Housing Organizations Initiative grants: HUD awards these grants to help build the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit fair housing organizations to continue and enhance enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.
The grants help Qualified Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations, Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations, public and private nonprofit organizations or institutions, and other public or private entities whose enforcement and education and outreach activities help to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
HUD also awarded $1.5 million in Partnership Funds to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies. FHAP organizations are state and local government agencies that enforce local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.
HUD has provided a complete summary of the grant awards that lists, by state, the organization receiving the funds, and what the organization plans to do with the funds. Since many organizations plan to use the funds for fair housing testing, it may be helpful to review the summary to gain insight into what testing is planned in your state or local area.
A complete summary of the grant awards is available for download on HUD’s website at: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/Main/documents/FY2019_FHIP_New_EOI_FHOI_PEI_3-20-20.docx.