HUD Releases New Fair Housing Report
More than 10,000 fair housing discrimination complaints were filed in fiscal year 2010, according to HUD's annual State of Fair Housing report released late last month. Discrimination based on disability continues to be the largest single category of complaints, according to the report. Of the 10,155 complaints filed with HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partner agencies, 48 percent alleged disability discrimination, 34 percent alleged discrimination based on race, and 15 percent alleged discrimination based on family status—consistent with the number and type of complaints received during the previous three years.
“Our goal is to put an end to unlawful housing discrimination,” John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “We have made progress in reducing housing discrimination, but more work needs to be done to make ‘fair housing…part of the American way of life,’ as President Johnson said in 1968 when he signed the Fair Housing Act into law.”
HUD says the report shows that it is resolving individual housing discrimination complaints faster, increasing its focus on complaints that affect multiple people, and launching more investigations using its authority to initiate cases on behalf of discrimination victims where no one has filed a complaint. In fiscal year 2010, HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partner agencies processed 4,494 new complaints within 100 days, 328 more than in 2009, and 583 more than in 2008. The report also shows that HUD proactively pursued its own Secretary-initiated investigations, charging four and conciliating eight cases that developed from such investigations, and launching another 10 such investigations.
Moreover, HUD says, the report shows that it has placed greater emphasis on ensuring that recipients of HUD funding create greater housing opportunities for minorities, families with children, and people with disabilities.
Going forward, HUD will continue to reach out to groups that have historically lacked sufficient protection from housing discrimination, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. HUD previously announced plans to issue a rule to clarify that the term “family,” when used in HUD programs, includes all eligible LGBT couples and individuals.
Meanwhile, HUD said that it is expanding its education and outreach to immigrant communities. The agency is conducting conferences throughout the nation to raise awareness of fair housing rights among advocacy and social service organizations working with immigrant communities. In addition, HUD has translated more than 100 vital documents into 17 different languages.
For a copy of HUD's Annual State of Fair Housing Report, go to: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=ANNUALREPORT2010.PDF.