HUD Commemorates Fair Housing Month With $30M Award to Address Discrimination 

In honor of Fair Housing Month and the signing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which outlaws discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, and familial status, Adrianne Todman, Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), released the following statement:

 “For more than half a century, the federal government has sought to end discrimination in housing through enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development takes its responsibilities under that law and other civil rights laws very seriously and works diligently to ensure people have full access to housing that meets their needs,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “Everyone in this country deserves to live free from discrimination, bias, and danger. This Fair Housing Month, we are recommitting ourselves to the important work of protecting individuals and families across America from harm.”

National Fair Housing Month Kicks Off With $30M Grant

Fair Housing: The ‘Act’ in Action, this year’s theme for Fair Housing Month, highlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s dedication to ending housing discrimination, defending the right to fair housing for all residents of the U.S., and correcting historical discriminatory practices and policies.

“This April, we reflect on the hard-fought battle for fair housing and recommit efforts to eliminate discrimination and disparities in housing across our country” said Demetria L. McCain, Principal Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This month and every month, HUD is taking meaningful action to advance housing justice and protect the rights of all people to live free from discrimination in the homes of their choice, regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation or gender identity), disability, or familial status.”  

In order to highlight the importance of the Fair Housing Act, increase public awareness of fair housing rights and responsibilities, highlight fair housing enforcement efforts, and stress the value of fostering diverse and inclusive communities, HUD observes Fair Housing Month each April in collaboration with communities, advocates, and fair housing organizations.

In addition to kicking off National Fair Housing Month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the award of over $30 million to fair housing organizations across the country under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). The grants will support the efforts of national, state, and local fair housing entities working to address violations of the Fair Housing Act and to end discrimination in housing.

“HUD is committed to rooting out any and all forms of discrimination in housing, not just through words, but through real resources,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “Today, we’re awarding more than $30 million to help our partners on the ground educate the public, eliminate discriminatory housing practices, and fully enforce the Fair Housing Act.”

The grant funding will allow the grantees to provide fair housing enforcement by conducting investigations, testing to identify discrimination in the rental and sales markets, and filing fair housing complaints with HUD or substantially equivalent state and local agencies. In addition, grantees will conduct education and outreach activities to inform the public, housing providers, and local governments about rights and responsibilities that exist under the Fair Housing Act.

“The Fair Housing Initiatives Program provides crucial support and resources to eliminate housing discrimination in communities across the country including those experiencing discrimination based on religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), race and the Fair Housing Act’s other four protected classes,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Although the Fair Housing Act was passed nearly fifty-six years ago, far too many people still face illegal housing discrimination. Through the collaborative efforts of HUD and its fair housing partners, we continue to make every effort to root out discrimination in housing.”

HUD Awards Grants in the Following Categories and Amounts:

Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) – This initiative funds non-profit fair housing organizations to carry out testing and enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.

  • HUD is awarding $16,704,250 to organizations to conduct intake, provide testing, and investigate and litigate fair housing complaints under the Fair Housing Act.

Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) – This program offers support for fair housing activities that educate the public and housing providers about equal opportunity in housing and compliance with the fair housing laws.

  • HUD is awarding $9,466,207 to organizations that educate the public and housing providers about the Fair Housing Act. These grants will also support state and local organizations that enhance fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.

Education and Outreach Initiative Test Coordinator Training (EOI-TCT) – FHIP is a significant source of funding for grantees that conduct fair housing testing in local communities across the country. Fair housing testing refers to the use of testers who pose as prospective renters or buyers of real estate for the purpose of determining whether housing providers, real estate agents, appraisers, lenders, and others are complying with the Fair Housing Act.

  • HUD is awarding $500,000 to one organization to support fair housing training courses specifically in fair housing testing.

Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) – This program provides funding that builds the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations by providing funds to handle fair housing enforcement and education initiatives more effectively. FHOI also strengthens the fair housing movement nationally by encouraging the creation and growth of organizations that focus on the rights and needs of underserved groups, particularly persons with disabilities.

  • HUD is awarding $3,700,000 to nonprofit organizations to conduct fair housing enforcement related activities.

“The funds provided today will ensure that our state and local partners have the financial resources they need to fight discriminatory practices and educate the public about their fair housing rights and responsibilities,” McCain said.

HUD will commemorate Fair Housing Month with an Opening Ceremony on April 11, 2024, at 2:00 P.M. (EDT), that will showcase HUD’s efforts to advance and protect fair housing rights to ensure that all people have the right to obtain the housing of their choice, free from discrimination.

To read the full award release for more information, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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