April is National Fair Housing Month. 2017 marks the 49th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which protects against housing discrimination due to “race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children” when applying for home financing or buying or renting a home, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD is hosting Fair Housing Month events this month to shine a light not only on discrimination, but also on efforts the agency has taken to uphold the Fair Housing Act.
“Equal access to housing is a fundamental promise of America,” said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Bryan Greene during a kickoff event at HUD headquarters this week. “When access to housing is unfairly limited, it, in turn, limits access to good paying jobs, quality schools, and economic opportunity.”
The event featured commentary from HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Malcolm E. Peabody, Jr., deputy assistant secretary for Fair Housing in the Nixon Administration.
Over 8,000 complaints alleging housing discrimination were submitted to HUD through its Fair Housing Assistance Program in 2016. Some 12 percent of those complaints were related to discrimination on the basis of having children, or “familial status discrimination.” HUD allocates a portion of its $ 42 million Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) budget to combat this type of discrimination.
Anyone who believes they have experienced housing discrimination can file a complaint with the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at www.hud.gov/fairhousing or 800-669-9777.
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