HUD Makes Millions Available to Fight Housing Discrimination

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced that it is making $39.2 million available to fight housing discrimination under HUD’s 2015 Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). This year’s funding notice also creates six new types of grants that support fair housing capacity building, education and outreach activities, and testing in rental and sales transactions.

Each year, HUD makes funding available to support organizations interested in the enforcement of fair housing laws and policies as well as educating the public, housing providers, and local governments about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

“The funding is part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to giving our fair housing partners the vital financial resources they need to create sustainable, inclusive communities of opportunity,” says HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Gustavo Velasquez. “Organizations dedicated to this work are an essential component of our efforts to put an end to unlawful housing discrimination and these grants make their work possible.”

The categories of grants being made available are:

  • Private Enforcement Initiative grants (PEI) – $29,275,000 available. HUD awards these to help local non-profit fair housing organizations carry out testing and enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
  • Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) – $3,500,000 available. HUD awards these 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 equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.
  • Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) – $6,425,000 available. HUD awards these to help build the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations, particularly organizations that focus on the rights and needs of underserved groups, such as rural and immigrant populations.

The new categories of grants being made available today include:

FHOI:

  • Special Emphasis Component – Up to $350,000 per grant – These grants will strengthen the enforcement activities and capacity building efforts of organizations and help them pursue cases that investigate systemic patterns of discrimination.
  • National/Regional Testing Component – Up to $500,000 per grant – These grants will enable organizations to develop and support a national/regional testing program to identify discrimination in rental and sales transactions.

EOI:

  • National Programs Component – Sex Discrimination – $500,000 per grant – Organizations will use this grant to conduct education and outreach projects that counter sex discrimination in housing, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, gender stereotyping or discrimination based on gender identity.
  • National Programs Component – Sex/Familial Status Discrimination – $500,000 per grant – This grant will enable organizations to conduct education and outreach projects that focus on one or more forms of sex or familial status discrimination.
  • National Programs Component – National Origin Discrimination – $500,000 per grant – Organizations will use this grant to address one or more forms of national origin discrimination in rental, sales, or lending.
  • National Programs Component – Disability Discrimination – $500,000 per grant – This grant will enable organizations, using the results of recent discrimination studies, to conduct education and outreach activities that address discrimination based on disability, particularly discrimination experienced by individuals with mobility impairments, hearing impairments, and cognitive or mental disabilities.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

Judy Gratton Your Real Estate Edge

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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