HUD Rolls Out $38M in Fair Housing Grants

How HUD is working to fight housing discrimination.

Washington, D.C.—HUD is awarding more than $38 million under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to over 100 groups nationwide to fight housing discrimination. According to the department, the funding will help to support a range of fair housing enforcement efforts, including fair housing testing, as well as activities that help educate the public, housing providers and local governments about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

“Combating housing discrimination requires the aggressive enforcement of the nation’s fair housing laws, but HUD can’t do it alone,” HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Gustavo Velasquez noted. “The funding we are announcing today will enable organizations committed to justice and equality to support our efforts to ensure that everyone has equal access to available housing opportunities.”

Nadeen Green, senior counsel with For Rent Media Solutions and a fair housing expert, told MHN that “especially since three weeks ago, when I attended CLE classes at the John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center, that fair housing advocates very much believe housing injustice is a serious and widespread issue and their wish list is to expand fair housing in a variety of ways.

“Whether our industry agrees that this is a good use of resources, the reality is that passionate and committed advocates now have the financial wherewithal to up the game with more testing, more responsiveness to filed complaints, and with the new disparate impact ruling, perhaps some creative charges of discrimination,” Green explained.

The categories of grant awards are:

  • Private Enforcement Initiative grants, which 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, which go 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, which help build the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations to continue and enhance enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.