Fair housing is no joke. An acquaintance of mine in another state recently received a communication from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding an allegation of a fair housing violation. Foolishly, he ignored the request for information and did not properly respond. It is probable that he did not violate the law. Unfortunately, the situation escalated and now has become a very serious matter. My friend may have his real estate license pulled until this is resolved and may be enjoined from doing business
Next month is fair housing month and a good time to review your knowledge of fair housing regulations. Look for an upcoming workshop on fair housing offered through GaREIA. Information is also available also on the HUD web site.
Recently, HUD announced a package of grant funds to groups that will use the funds to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and housing industry about housing discrimination laws, and work to promote fair housing. Of the $17.6 million grants, $10.2 million was awarded in “Private Enforcement Initiative” grants to assist private, tax-exempt fair housing enforcement organizations for investigation and enforcement of alleged violations of federal, state, and local laws.
Approximately $5.3 million in “Education and Outreach Initiative” grants was allocated to groups to educate the public about the rights and obligations under federal, state and local fair housing law. Nearly $800,000 went to ten groups that focus on the needs of persons with disabilities. Another $2.1 million in “Fair Housing Organizations Initiative” grants was awarded for projects that serve rural and immigrant populations in underserved areas or where there currently is no existing fair housing organization.