Ahead of anniversary of PAVE Action Plan, some grants empower organizations to test for appraisal bias and educate local communities
WASHINGTON – RealEstateRama – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $54 million to 182 fair housing organizations across the country under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). The grants will provide $28,200,000 to support the efforts national, state, and local fair housing entities working to address violations of the Fair Housing Act and helping to end discrimination in housing. In addition, HUD provided $26,350,000 in funding to its second and third year Private Enforcement Initiative grantees to continue fair housing enforcement efforts nationwide. A state-by-state breakdown of the awardees is available here.
“Far too many families in our country still face unconscionable prejudice, both as renters and homeowners,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “The Fair Housing Initiatives Program puts money into communities to help them root out discrimination in housing. I am pleased to provide our state and local partners with the resources they need to combat inequity and build a fairer, more inclusive country for all.”
The awarding of these funds proceeds the 1-year anniversary of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Action Plan – led by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice. The PAVE Action plan represents the most wide-ranging set of commitments ever announced to advance equity in the home appraisal process. Eligible activities for the funding awarded today included testing for appraisal bias and educating local communities on the issue.
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 programs and services provided by the Fair Housing Initiatives Program are vital to eliminating housing discrimination that too many in this country endure,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “As we prepare to recognize the fifty-fifth anniversary of the Fair Housing Act next month, we know we have more work to do in the fight against housing discrimination. But, efforts of our fair housing partners through the years have made a significant contribution helping thousands of people and families. The funds provided today will ensure that our state and local partners have the financial resources they need to continue educating the public and opposing discriminatory practices in the communities they serve.”
HUD is awarding 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 $14,575,000 to new organizations to conduct intake, provide testing, and investigate and litigate fair housing complaints under the Fair Housing Act.
- HUD is awarding $26,350,000 to second- and third-year FY 2020 and FY 2021 PEI Multi-year grantees. This multi-year award will allow grantees to continue fair housing investigations, testing and other fair housing enforcement activities.
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 $9,425,000 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) – The Fair Housing Initiatives Program is a significant source of funding for FHIP grantees that conduct fair housing testing in local communities across the country. Fair housing testing refers to the use of testers who, like “secret shoppers”, pose as prospective renters or buyers of real estate for the purpose of determining whether housing providers and others are complying with the federal 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 equip nonprofit organizations to conduct fair housing enforcement related activities. The award will also establish and support a new organization to engage in fair housing enforcement work, particularly in unserved and underserved jurisdictions.
A state-by-state breakdown of the awardees is available here.