The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development continues its fight against discriminatory housing practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Fact, HUD says nearly $20 million is now available to help agencies fight back. The American Rescue Plan made the most recent funding available. The available funds will allow fair housing enforcement organizations to respond to fair housing questions and complaints.
In addition, this fair housing funding will help agencies conduct testing as well as implement more COVID-19 outreach and education programs. Agencies can also use the funds to expand fair housing enforcement services for underserved populations who many need the services the most. Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity says, “Housing stability will be a critically important part of America’s continuing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Worden also says the funding provides fair housing partner organizations with the financial resources needed to address various forms of discrimination. Three levels of funding are available to Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) agencies. Moreover, the levels for the funding are based on the three most recent yearly operating budgets.
How to apply for fair housing funding
- I – up to $75,000 (for organizations with an average annual operating budget of less than $500,000.)
- II – up to $125,000 (for organizations with an average annual operating budget of between $500,000 and $700,000.)
- III – up to $350,000 (for organizations with an average annual operating budget of greater than $700,000.)
Qualified organizations interesting in applying will need a Notice of Funding Opportunity, forms, instructions, and other application materials. Applications will be accepted as long as they are submitted by August 18, 2021. Anyone who believes they are experiencing housing discrimination should report it immediately! Complaints can be filed with HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay). HUD also accepts complaints electronically.