The Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded over $ 47 million in grants to 120 organizations across the country to support the education and enforcement of fair housing.
This funding will allow recipients to conduct research and testing to identify discrimination in the rental and sales market and problems filing fair living complaints with the HUD. It is also used in education and outreach to educate the public, housing providers, and local governments of their rights and obligations under the Fair Housing Act.
"The HUD funds of the Fair Housing Groups are a crucial contribution to the fight against housing discrimination," said Jeanine Worden, assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunities, in an announcement published on Thursday. "The grants we are announcing today will enable 120 fair housing groups to tackle unfair evictions and other housing practices that violate the Fair Housing Act."
These grants are just the latest in the Biden Administration's efforts to enforce housing discrimination. In the 2019 federal fiscal year, HUD distributed $ 15 million through the Fair Housing Initiatives program, while the following year it awarded $ 40.8 million in grants.
In August, the HUD entered into a letter of intent with the Federal Housing Finance Agency – the regulator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks – to share information and coordinate investigations and reviews of the Fair Housing Act.
This followed the restoration of the “Affirmatively Fördering Fair Housing” regulation established by the Obama administration in June through the HUD.
The grants are divided into three categories, with most of the funding going to the Private Enforcement Initiative. The $ 34.6 million will be made available to 93 organizations investigating and litigating complaints under the Fair Housing Act.
Another $ 10.7 million will be distributed to 78 groups for the Education and Outreach Initiative, while $ 2.2 million will be distributed to 10 groups under the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative due to their focus on the rights and needs of the underserved population, including rural populations and immigrants.
Groups that receive all three grants include: Legal Aid Society of San Diego; Fair housing attorneys in Northern California; Connecticut Fair Housing Center; HOPE fair residential center; Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center; High Plains Fair Residential Center; and housing equivalent of Virginia.