Federal Government Awards $37 Million in Grants to Plaintiffs' Groups to Increase Fair Housing Enforcement and Education Efforts
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it is awarding $37 million as part of its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to approximately 100 fair housing organizations and nonprofit agencies in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
The grants are to be used to:
- investigate allegations of housing discrimination;
- educate the public and the housing industry about rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act; and
- promote equal housing opportunities.
Organizations investigating housing discrimination – through testing and other means – were allocated $30.35 million of the $37 million. These organizations are also expected to bring private actions to enforce the Fair Housing Act, along with state and local laws that are patterned after the Act.
In making its announcement, the government emphasized that the grants are designed to support the organizations to “provide Fair Housing enforcement through testing in the rental and sales market, to file Fair Housing complaints to HUD, and to conduct investigations. The education and outreach activities these organizations conduct also help to educate the public, housing providers and local governments about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.”
Given this funding, Fair Housing Act testing, enforcement actions, and litigation efforts are expected to continue.