HUD No. 05-041
March 31, 2005
FAIR HOUSING REPORT SHOWS DISCRIMINATING HOUSING PROVIDERS MORE LIKELY TO FACE SCRUTINY
WASHINGTON - Landlords and rental agents who violate the Fair Housing Act are more likely than ever to come under federal scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development according to a new 2005 State of Fair Housing Report released today.
In 2004, HUD and its state and local Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP)
partners received 9,187 housing discrimination complaints, a 13 percent increase
over the previous fiscal year. Together they settled or conciliated 3,183 cases
and provided over $11 million in monetary relief, in addition to other resolutions,
such as the desired housing. The marked increase in complaint filings is the
result of HUD's aggressive education and outreach to the public regarding housing
April marks the 37th Anniversary of the signing of the Fair Housing Act and the nation's annual observance of Fair Housing Month.
"In four decades we have made great progress in educating people about the Fair Housing Act but as the cases highlighted in this report illustrate, not everyone has gotten the message," said Carolyn Peoples, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "In an era where finding safe, decent, affordable housing can sometimes be difficult, equal access is more important than ever."
The report also provides a more detailed description of some of HUD's recent Fair Housing accomplishments:
- In addition to the cases settled, FHAP agencies found "reasonable
cause" to believe discrimination occurred in 414 cases. HUD issued a
charge of discrimination in an additional 43 complaints;
- HUD's award-winning PSA campaign, designed to educate the public on their
fair housing rights, aired on television and radio over 1 million times in
English and over 12,000 times in Spanish;
- Compared to the previous year, HUD and the FHAP agencies received 31 percent
more complaints from Hispanics alleging discrimination based on national origin
(for a total of 916 complaints);
- HUD also developed several education and outreach initiatives in response
to research that showed that Hispanics continue to experience discrimination
one in every four times that they search for rental housing. These initiatives
include: the allocation of $1.7 million to address discrimination against
Hispanics in six states where the Hispanic population is large and rapidly
growing; and providing $850,000 over two years to organizations with established
ties to the Hispanic community to provide bilingual fair housing materials
and services to this population;
- In April, HUD plans to release the results of the first nationwide examination
of housing discrimination faced by people with disabilities. This is the fourth
in a series of studies HUD has released since 2000 providing nationwide estimates
of the kind of discrimination faced by different populations; and
- In August 2004, HUD opened the National Fair Housing Training Academy at Howard University in Washington D.C., to train housing discrimination investigators from FHAP agencies on completing thorough and timely investigations. The Academy will offer basic and advanced certification to investigators that successfully complete the required training courses.
For more information about these accomplishments and cases HUD has brought, please visit HUD's Enforcement Activity website.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.