On January 26, 2021, President Biden issued a “Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies“. President Biden called on the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and and Urban Development (HUD) to work on this.
On January 20, 2021, President Biden named Matt Ammon to lead HUD as acting director through “the next phase of the government” while Biden’s nominee for Secretary of HUD, Representative Marcia Fudge (Democrat – Ohio) moved through the confirmation process. Her hearing had yet to be scheduled by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
HUD did not hesitate to get to work by charging housing providers who engaged in housing discrimination. The Department also made efforts to help people keep their homes, and to improve public housing.
January 6, 2021: Acting U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Matthew E. Ammon today released the following statement on President Biden’s executive order redressing the federal government’s legacy of housing discrimination and securing equal access to housing opportunity for all.
“President Biden’s executive order is a vital step toward redressing the federal government’s legacy of housing discrimination and securing equal access to housing opportunity for all.
“Racially discriminatory housing practices and policies have kept communities of color from accessing safe, high-quality housing and the chance to build wealth that comes through homeownership. To this day, people of color disproportionately bear the burdens of homelessness, pollution, climate-related housing instability, and economic inequality because of deliberate and systemic efforts to deny them fair and equal access to housing opportunity.
“Only by recognizing and acknowledging our nation’s history of housing discrimination can we begin to lift the barriers to safe, accessible, and affordable housing. With this executive order, President Biden is taking meaningful action to advance racial equity in housing and expand opportunity for all. HUD looks forward to working closely with the President and his administration to expand equitable housing for millions of Americans.”
January 26, 2021: Acting HUD Secretary Matthew E. Ammon posted a statement titled: “Acting HUD Secretary Statement on President Biden’s Executive Order Redressing Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies.” From the statement:
Acting U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Matthew E. Ammon today released the following statement on President Biden’s executive order redressing our nation’s and the federal government’s history of discriminatory housing practices and policies:
“President Biden’s executive order is a vital step toward redressing the federal government’s legacy of housing discrimination and securing equal access to housing opportunity for all.
“Racially discriminatory housing practices and policies have kept communities of color from accessing safe, high-quality housing and the chance to build wealth that comes through homeownership. To this day, people of color disproportionately bear the burdens of homelessness, pollution, climate-related housing instability, and economic inequality because of deliberate and systemic efforts to deny them fair and equal access to housing opportunity.
“Only by recognizing and acknowledging our nation’s history of housing discrimination can we begin to lift the barriers to safe, accessible, and affordable housing. With this executive order, President Biden is taking meaningful action to advance racial equity in housing and expand opportunity for all. HUD looks forward to working closely with the President and his administration to expand equitable access to housing for millions of Americans.”
January 27, 2021: Acting HUD Secretary Matthew E. Ammon posted a statement titled: “Acting HUD Secretary Statement on President Biden’s Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships”. From the statement:
Acting U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Matthew E. Ammon today released the following statement on President Biden’s Memorandum on Tribal consultation and strengthening Nation-to-Nation relationships:
“HUD applauds President Biden for taking bold action to strengthen the Federal government’s recognition of Tribal sovereignty, carry out our Federal trust and treaty responsibilities, and ensure that all Federal agencies engage in meaningful government-to-government consultation when developing policies that affect Tribal Nations. HUD plays an instrumental role in providing safe, affordable housing for Tribal communities, and this work could not be done without the engagement of our Tribal partners. The President’s memorandum will ensure that our agency will work tirelessly to consult with Tribal leaders when formulating policies to expand opportunity and equity in Native communities. HUD looks forward to implementing the President’s Memorandum and to continuing our critical work to meet the housing needs of Tribal Nations.”
February 9, 2021: National Low Income Housing Coalition posted a memo to members titled: “Senate Committee Hearing for HUD Secretary-Designate Marcia Fudge”. From the memo:
The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held a confirmation hearing on January 28 for Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), President Joe Biden’s nominee for the secretary of HUD. In Representative Fudge’s testimony, she detailed her priorities as HUD secretary, her direct experience with economic development and affordable housing as mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio and as a representative of Ohio’s 11th congressional district. She also addressed her commitment to addressing HUD’s greatest challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout…
…Regarding specific regulations such as the Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and the Disparate Impact rule, Representative Fudge assured the committee that she will follow the regulatory process in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and will ensure HUD’s actions remain consistent with the Supreme Court ruling on inclusive communities (see Memo, 05/29/2015). Representative Fudge also confirmed her commitment to enforce fair housing law. When questioned about her past statements about Republican elected officials, Representative Fudge expressed her commitment to work with all of the members of Congress.
The AFFH rule was abruptly rescinded last summer by the Trump administration (see Memo, 07/27/2020), and harmful changes to the Disparate Impact Rule were set to go into effect on October 26, 2020 but were halted by a U.S. District Court (see Memo, 11/02/2020). President Biden recently issued a memorandum to HUD directing an examination of the previous administration’s actions against these rules. The memo directs HUD to administer its programs in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing and prevents practices with disparate impacts.
Among other priorities, Representative Fudge also expressed support for:
- expanding Housing Choice Vouchers
- expanding the inventory of low- and moderate-income housing
- expanding housing counseling assistance
- housing finance reform with a focus on down payment assistance
- the permanent authorization of CDBG-DR program
February 9, 2021: HUD charged Dahmns Investments, LLC, the owner of duplex apartments in Hamilton, Missouri, and their property manager, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to grant a prospective tenant with a mental health disability a reasonable accommodation to waive the required pet deposit for her assistance animal.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to people with disabilities, or from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when necessary to provide person’s with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. Prohibitions include not allowing people with disabilities to have assistance animals that perform work or tasks, or that provide disability-related emotional support.
HUD’s charge specifically alleges that the property manager told the woman that she would have to pay hundreds of dollars in pet fees and that she did not look like she had a disability. The charge further alleges that the property manager told the woman that rules related to assistance animals only applied to individuals who are blind and/or deaf. The charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge.
February 11, 2021: HUD posted a press release stating that HUD will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is decision is directly connected to President Biden’s Executive Order 13988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, which directed executive branch agencies to examine further steps that could be taken to combat such discrimination.
The significance of this action is underscored by a number of housing discrimination studies which indicate that same-sex couples and transgender persons in communities across the country experience demonstrably less favorable treatment than their straight and cisgender counterparts when seeking rental housing. Despite this reality, the Department has been constrained in its efforts to address housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by legal uncertainty about whether most such discrimination was within HUD’s reach.
The memorandum relies on the Department’s legal conclusion that the Fair Housing Act’s sex discrimination provisions are comparable in text and purpose to those of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars sex discrimination in the workplace. In Bostock v Clayton County, the Supreme Court held that workplace prohibitions on sex discrimination include discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD has now determined that the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination in housing likewise includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Accordingly, and consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order, HUD will enforce the Fair Housing Act to prevent and combat such discrimination.
Actions HUD will take:
- HUD will accept and investigate all jurisdictional complaints of sex discrimination, including discrimination because of gender identity or sexual orientation, and enforce the Fair Housing Act where it finds such discrimination occurred.
- HUD will conduct all activities involving the application, interpretation, and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination consistent with its conclusion that such discrimination includes discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- State and local jurisdiction funded by HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) that enforce the Fair Housing Act through their HUD-certified substantially equivalent laws will be required to administer those laws to prohibit discrimination because of gender identity and sexual orientation.
- Organizations and agencies that receive grants through the Department’s Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) must carry out their funded activities to also prevent and combat discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.
- FHEO Regional Offices, FHAP agencies, and FHIP grantees are instructed to review, within 30 days, all records of allegations (inquiries, complaints, phone logs, etc.) received since January 20, 2020, and notify person’s who alleged discrimination because of gender identity or sexual orientation that their claims may be timely and jurisdictional for filing under this memorandum.
February 22, 2021: HUD announced that it is charging D&D Realty Management LLC, in Providence, Rhode Island, the owner and manager of several rental properties in that city, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to families with children. HUD’s charge alleges that the owners stated that they cannot have children at the property and refused to show available units to fair housing testers posing as prospective tenants with children.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent to a family because of children under the age of 18 and to make statements that discriminate against families with children. This includes phishing advertisements that indicate a preference or otherwise discriminate against families with children. Housing may exclude children only if it meets the Fair Housing Act’s exemption for housing for older persons.
…The case came to HUD’s attention when SouthCoast Fair Housing, a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agency operating in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, filed a complaint based on fair housing tests it conducted after seeing an ad on Facebook for remodeled student apartments. The charge alleges that when testers contacted D&D Realty Management to inquire about available units and mentioned that they had children, the owner told them: “Unfortunately, we can’t allow children.” In addition, D&D Realty Management allegedly cancelled meetings to show units after learning that a tester had a child. Meanwhile, testing evidence showed that testers without children who applied for housing were shown available units and offered the opportunity to rent.
HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court. If the administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, the judge may award damages to the complainant for losses that have resulted from the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest.
February 23, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards $2.7 Billion To Improve, Preserve Nation’s Public Housing”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded more than $2.7 billion in funding to nearly 2,900 public housing authorities (PHAs) in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to make capital investments in their public housing units…
…The grants announced today are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, renovate, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. Housing authorities can use the funding to complete large-scale improvements such as replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to heating systems and installing water conservation measures.
For more than 80 years, the federal government has been investing billions of dollars in developing and maintaining public housing, including providing critical support through the Capital Fund grants announced today.
February 24, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Charges Pennsylvania Housing Provider with Discriminating Against People with Mental Disabilities”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging Perry Homes, Inc., and Whittington and Whittington, doing business as Perry Homes, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to allow assistance animals in rental properties in Harmony, Cranberry Township, and Zelienople, Pennsylvania. HUD’s charge specifically alleges that rental agents for Perry Homes told fair housing testers posing as prospective tenants with disabilities that they could accept service animals but were not permitted to accept “emotional support” animals…
…The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against people with disabilities, including refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when such accommodations may be necessary to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. This includes permitting persons with disabilities to have service animals or assistance animals. Housing providers, unlike public accommodations, may not prohibit people with disabilities from having assistance animals that perform work or tasks, or that provide disability-related emotional support…
…The case came to HUD’s attention when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services (SPLS), a HUD Fair Housing Initiative Program agency, filed a complaint after testers posing as prospective tenants who said they had assistance animals were told that the animals were not allowed. Specifically, according to HUD’s charge, Perry Homes rental agents told testers that only registered service animals that had been trained for a specific duty would be permitted, and that Perry Homes was not obligated to accept “emotional support” animals.
HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge.
February 25, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards $1.5 Million to Help Families Improve Their Economic Well-Being”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded approximately $1.5 million to 13 public housing authorities (PHA’s) to help residents of public housing and voucher-assisted housing increase their earned income and savings…
…HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program funding helps local public housing authorities to hire Service Coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with existing programs and services in the local community. These Service Coordinators build relationships with networks of local service providers, who provide direct assistance to FSS participants. The broad spectrum of services made possible through FSS enables participating families to find jobs, increase earned income, and access opportunities to improve long-term economic well-being.
Participants in the program sign a five-year contract of participation requiring the head of household to set specific goals and achievements allowed under the FSS Program. To successfully graduate, the head of household must be employed and no member of the FSS family may have received cash assistance for twelve months prior to program graduation. Families in the FSS program have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family’s escrow account is based on increases in rent due to improvement in the family’s earned income during the term of the FSS contract. Upon successful graduation, the head of household receives the escrow funds and is able to apply those funds to advance their personal circumstances, including, for example, paying educational expenses or making a down-payment on a home.
Due to COVID, HUD did not receive applications for FSS renewal funding from every eligible PHA with an existing FSS Program. As a result, the Department issued a supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity inviting those eligible PHAs with FSS Programs to apply competitively for the residual FY 2020 funds.
February 25, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards $5.5 Billion In Grants To Local Communities For Affordable Housing And To Serve Individuals And Families”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $5.5 billion in funding to local programs throughout the country that provide affordable housing, community development and economic opportunity, and support to individuals and families experiencing homelessness…
The grants announced today are provided through the following HUD programs:
- $3.4 billion – The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and countries to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low-and moderate-income persons.
- $1.3 billion – The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides funding to states and localities that communities use – often in partnership with local nonprofit groups – to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership by providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.
- $387 million – The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) grants provides rental housing assistance for persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
- $290 million – Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) provides funds for homeless shelters, assists in the operation of local shelters and funds related social service and homelessness prevention programs.
- $25 million – The Recovery Housing Program (RHP) allows states and the District of Columbia to provide stable, transitional housing for individuals in recovery from a substance-use disorder.
Combined, ESG, HOWPA, CDBG, HOME, and RHP programs will provide critically needed funding to thousands of local programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands.
February 26, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards More Than $652 Million For Affordable Housing Activities in Native American Communities”. From the press release:
Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced more than $652 million in Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) formula funding for eligible Native American Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) to carry out affordable housing activities in tribal communities…
“The Indian Housing Block Grant program supports the commitment of Tribes across the country to their communities through funding affordable housing and housing activities,” said HUD Acting Secretary Matthew E. Ammon. “The U.S. government has a responsibility to carry out trust obligations to Indian tribes, and with this funding, HUD is acting to meet these obligations.”
The IHBG Program is a formula grant that provides a range of affordable housing activities on reservations and related areas. Eligible activities include housing development, operation and modernization of existing housing, housing services to eligible families and individuals, crime prevention and safety, and model activities that provide creative opportunities to solving affordable housing problems…”
March 4, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Approves $115,000 Settlement Resolving Claims of Disability Discrimination at Several Pennsylvania Apartment Complexes”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement resolving allegations that nineteen apartment complexes in and near Philadelphia refused to grant reasonable accommodations requested by individuals with disabilities. The Conciliation Agreement is between the Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania; management companies HumanGood East, dba Presby’s Inspired Life and HumanGood Pennsylvania; dba Presby’s Inspired Life; twenty-seven apartment complex owners; and an individual with disabilities.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying housing to persons with disabilities or subjecting them to discriminatory terms or conditions, including denying reasonable accommodation requests. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal financial assistance…
…Under the terms of the settlement, the management companies and owners will pay $90,000 to the Housing Equality Center of Pennsylvania and $25,000 to the initial complainant, develop and implement nondiscrimination and reasonable accommodation policies, provide training to staff, and grant reasonable accommodations to tenants whose requests were previously denied…
March 8, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Approves Agreement with JPMorgan Chase Resolving Claims of Race Discrimination in Appraisals”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it approved a Conciliation Agreement between JPMorgan Chase Bank and an African-American woman, resolving the woman’s claim that the mortgage lender, relying on an appraisal that she believed was inaccurate, valued her home at an amount lower than its actual worth because of her race.
“The race of a homeowner and the racial composition of their neighborhood must not influence the valuation of a home,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The Fair Housing Act prohibits the consideration of race as a factor in the appraisal of a home and in the provision of other real estate related services. Discrimination in home buying, mortgage lending, and property appraisal deprives qualified individuals of an equal opportunity to pursue homeownership as a path to family stability and financial security. HUD is committed to ensuring that all housing, whether for rent or sale, is free from discrimination.”
Under the Conciliation Agreement, JPMorgan Chase Bank will pay $50,000 to the woman and provide home lending advisors and client care specialists with mandatory training on the Reconsideration of Value process and fair lending issues related to appraisals, including specifics regarding how to handle complaints of discrimination in the appraisal process.
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale of a dwelling because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. The Act also makes it unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes residential real estate-related transactions to discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction. Residential real estate-related transactions covered by the Act include making loans secured by residential real estate and appraising residential real property…
March 10, 2021: The Department of Housing and Urban Development posted a press release titled: “Marcia Fudge Sworn in as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development”. From the press release:
Today, Marcia L. Fudge was officially sworn in as the eighteenth Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Secretary Fudge took the oath this evening after the Senate voted to confirm her. As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Fudge now leads a federal department with wide reach throughout the United States, including the Offices of Housing, Community Planning and Development, Federal Housing Administration, Public and Indian Housing, Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Policy Development and Research, Field Policy and Management, Government National Mortgage Association (Ginne Mae), Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, and Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships…
March 10, 2021: Ballotpedia reported that the confirmation vote roll call for Representative Marcia Fudge to become the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development was 66-34.
Here are how the votes went:
- Democrats: 48 FOR; zero against, zero not voting
- Independents: 2 FOR; zero against, zero not voting
- Republicans: 16 FOR; 35 against, zero not voting
March 11, 2021: CBS News posted an article titled: “Marcia Fudge sworn in as housing secretary after Senate confirmation vote”. From the article:
The Senate has confirmed Congresswoman Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, placing the longtime Ohio lawmaker in charge of the agency just as Congress passed new benefits for renters and homeowners who have suffered economic losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President Kamala Harris swore Fudge in on Wednesday afternoon.
Fudge, who has represented parts of Cleveland and Akron in the House since 2008, is a former mayor and a longtime advocate for assistance for the needy. She said at her confirmation hearing in January that her first priority would be protecting the millions of people who have fallen behind on rent or mortgages due to loss of income during the pandemic, telling senators that “we cannot afford to allow people in the midst of a pandemic to be put in the streets.”
Her confirmation, 66 to 34, comes as the Senate is approving a slate of President Biden’s nominees…
…Democrats argued that Fudge’s experience was right for the times. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who lives in Fudge’s district, noted that parts of the area suffered a disproportionate number of foreclosures before the economic crisis a decade ago…
March 16, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Charges Pennsylvania Landlords with Sexual Harassment and Retaliation”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging the husband-and-wife owners of apartments in Oil City, Pennsylvania, with sexual harassment and retaliation against a female resident. HUD’s charge alleges that the husband groped and tried to forcibly kiss the woman when he was in her unit to preform electrical repairs. HUD’s charge further alleges that the owners retaliated against the woman and her infant child after she told the wife about the husband’s harassment…
…”Home is the place where we all should feel safe. Unfortunately, too many women are not safe in their own homes because their housing providers or maintenance personnel subject them to unwelcome sexual advances,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This is particularly true for women who reside in low-income households. Today’s action demonstrates HUD’s strong and continuing commitment to use the Fair Housing Act to combat sexual harassment in housing.”
The Fair Housing Act prohibits harassment of tenants and other forms of housing discrimination because of race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion and familial status.
This case came to HUD’s attention when the woman filed a complaint. The charge alleges that the husband co-owner of the apartments made sexual advances toward the female tenant when he was in her unit to perform repairs. The charge also alleges that when the female tenant told the wife about the harassment, the wife texted her: “You are out,” “You got 10 days,” and “You are a liar.” The female tenant and her child were subsequently evicted and charged for unpaid rent and legal fees. The housing at issue was rented using a Housing Choice Voucher…
…HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court…
March 24, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Approves Agreement With California Housing Provider Resolving Claims of Disability Discrimination”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has approved a Conciliation Agreement between Monterey, California-based rental property owners and managers G. Davi Properties and Guido A. Davi II and a resident of one of their properties, resolving claims that the providers denied the resident’s reasonable accommodation request to keep an assistance animal…
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from discriminating against people with disabilities, including refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices when such accommodations may be necessary to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. This includes permitting persons with disabilities to have service animals or assistance animals. Housing providers, unlike public accommodations, may not prohibit people with disabilities from having assistance animals that perform work or tasks, or that provide disability-related emotional support…
The complaint came to HUD’s attention when the resident with disabilities filed a complaint alleging that G Davi Properties and Guido A Davi II discriminated against him by failing to grant his request to keep an assistance animal. After denying his request, the owners allegedly cancelled the lease, changed the locks on the unit, and threatened to call the police in the event that he attempted to move in. The owners also allegedly claimed that the man never disclosed his need for an assistance animal, even though he provided a letter from his physician verifying his disability and need for the assistance animal.
The owners/managers deny that they discriminated against the complainant and denied any violation of law, but voluntarily agreed to settle the complaint. Under the Conciliation Agreement, they will pay $10,000 to the resident, provide fair housing training for their employees, create and implement a written Reasonable Accommodation Policy, and modify any rental forms or materials to be consistent with the Fair Housing Act…
April 1, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “Gary Housing Authority Returned To Local Control After Seven Years Under Federal Receivership”. From the press release:
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday announced Gary Housing Authority’s (GHA’s) transition back to local control. HUD assumed control of the agency in 2013.
“The Gary Housing Authority has made significant progress over the past several years,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “I’m pleased that we are able to take this important step with Mayor Prince to return the GHA to local control, where it will continue to serve its residents and the community. HUD looks forward to ensuring a successful transition, under the oversight of the Board of Commissioners. We could not take this important step without the partnership of the housing authority and the local government.”
“This is a great moment for the people of the City of Gary and for the Gary Housing Authority,” said Mayor Jerome Prince, mayor of Gary, Indiana. “Under Director Taryl Bonds, we’re looking forward to exceeding our GHA residents’ expectations and providing them with the best possible service. I especially want to thank Secretary Fudge for her leadership and vision.”
Under the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and the City of Gary:
- HUD’s recovery team, in collaboration with the community, provided GHA the tools and support to correct these issues and turn the agency around. GHA is no longer designated as troubled in its public housing program, and its Housing Choice Voucher program has achieved a high performer designation.
- Since 2013, HUD provided GHA with $11.9m in special grants for demolition and rehabilitation, and $7.3m in contractor assistance to support the recovery effort. These numbers are above and beyond the countless hours of on-site and remote direct assistance provided by at least 17 different HUD team members from across the country,
- HUD put in place and developed new executive leadership, provided technical expertise to resolve management issues, built GHA staff and advisory committee capacity, and guided GHA to available HUD resources to maximize the impact of limited financial resources.
- GHA received an overall passing Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) for GHA’s properties, improved physical condition and inspection scores, increased occupancy rates, an unmodified financial audit with no findings, demolition of more than 400 blighted units at six sights, approval to demolish approximately 600 additional obsolete units at four sites, preservation of more than $13 million in Capital Funds grants at risk of recapture, opening a successful community resource center, and a sustained high performer designation for its Housing Choice Voucher program.
HUD assumed control of the GHA 7 and a half years ago, citing substantial default and possession based on GHA’s chronic poor performance. As of April 1, GHA will have approximately 1,100 of public housing units and approximately 2,000 Housing Choice Vouchers.
April 5, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards $5 Million To Promote Lead Hazard Reduction And Weatherization Programs”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $5 million in demonstration grants to five local government and non-profit organizations to help households with young children or seniors promote energy efficiency and healthy housing. The funding announced today promotes the coordinated delivery of services by local HUD-funded Lead Hazard Reduction and Weatherization Assistance Programs funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). This model will provide additional benefits to low-income households in the form of lower energy costs and a reduction in residential health and safety hazards…
“These grants will allow local programs to explore different strategies to increase the supply of safe and energy housing for low-income households,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “These services are expected to both improve resident health and reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses.”
“Both of the programs supported through these grants target services to similar populations and housing. Coordinating services enhances the benefits to households and can reduce program costs by achieving greater efficiencies compared to the usual independent provision of program services,” said Matt Ammon, Director of the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. “We know that substandard housing contributes to injury and illness, which is entirely preventable.”
HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes promotes state and local efforts to eliminate lead-paint and other housing-related health and safety hazards from lower income homes, stimulate private sector investment in lead hazard control, support cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards, and educate the public about the dangers of hazards in the home.
April 6, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Allocates Nearly $700 Million For Affordable Housing”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Tuesday announced the allocation of $689,565,492.92 through the nation’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for affordable housing. The Housing Trust Fund was launched in 2008 as an affordable housing production program that complements existing federal, state, and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for low- and extremely low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness.
“This past year has reminded us just how important it is to have access to safe and stable housing. But too many Americans are struggling to keep or find an affordable home,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We are excited to announce this historic funding allocation, which will enable states to expand and preserve affordable housing for our neighbors who need our support the most.”
The Housing Trust Fund is capitalized through the contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This year’s allocation is a significant increase in funding from last year’s allocation of $322,564,267.66. This program is specifically focused on housing for some of our most vulnerable populations. HUD annually allocates HTF funds by formula. A state must use at least 80 percent of each annual grant for rental housing; up to 10 percent for homeownership; and up to 10 percent for the grantee’s reasonable administrative and planning costs. HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities. All HTF-assisted units will be required to have a minimum affordability period of 30 years. The Housing Trust Fund has supported the construction or rehabilitation of 775 rental units nationally since the first were allocated in 2017. There are currently 480 additional projects under construction. This year’s funding is expected to produce more than 5,400 additional affordable units.
April 6, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards More Than $36 Million To Support Public Housing And Native American Residents In Achieving Economic And Housing Stability”. From the press release:
Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the award of $36.9 million to public housing authorities, public housing resident associations, Native American tribes, and nonprofit organizations across the nation. Grantees will use these Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) grant funds to hire and/or retain Service Coordinators to assist public and Native American housing families meet their professional, financial, health, and educational goals. In doing so, ROSS Service Coordinators will help remove barriers so that residents can improve their economic mobility, health outcomes, and overall quality of life…
“We are excited to work with our local partners to help public housing residents find jobs and opportunities that will propel them forward,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “The funding announced today will help residents reach their goals and dreams tomorrow.”
The ROSS grant is a place-based program designed to assist residents make progress towards economic and housing self-sufficiency. Service Coordinators provide case management, assess residents’ needs, and work in partnership with local service providers to fulfill those needs. Service Coordinators provide a critical service to residents by helping to remove barriers that can stand in the way of progress. They also work with seniors and people with disabilities to ensure they receive the medical care and social supports required to age and remain in place, thereby avoiding costlier forms of care.
April 8: 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Announces $5 Billion To Increase Affordable Housing To Address Homelessness”. From the press release:
Secretary Fudge: “With this strong funding, communities across the country will have the resources needed to get people housed and keep people home.”
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge today announced the allocation of nearly $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to help communities across the country create affordable housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Secretary Fudge made the announcement during a Zoom call with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin.
“Homelessness in the United States was increasing before COVID-19, and we know the pandemic has only made the crisis worse,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “HUD’s swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding reflects our commitment to addressing homelessness as a priority. With this strong funding, communities across the country will have the resources needed to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one.”…
…The $4.925 billion in HOME-ARP funding gives states the flexibility to best meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness, including through development of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance, supportive services, and acquisition and development of non-congregate shelter units. Funds must be spent by 2030.
The nearly $5 billion HOME-ARP funding is the first of two homelessness-related funding opportunities from the American Rescue Plan that HUD will release. In the coming weeks, HUD will announce the allocation of funding for emergency vouchers for people experiencing and at-risk of homelessness.
While the nearly $5 billion in HOME-ARP funding will deliver near-term relief to people experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness, President Biden’s American Jobs Plan would build on this relief with additional robust funding to bring the United States closer to ending homelessness and housing instability.
April 9, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards $13.7 Million To Public Housing Agencies For Emergency Safety And Security Improvements”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced its awarding $13.7 million to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) throughout the country to make needed capital improvements in public housing developments that serve to enhance safety and security for residents…
“Keeping families who live in public housing safe in their homes is important to their health and everyday well-being,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “These grants go a long way to ensure that public housing residents are protected and have peace of mind as they go about their lives.”
The funds are awarded through HUD’s Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Program, which supports public housing authorities as they address the safety of public housing residents. These grants may be used to install, repair, or replace capital equipment or systems that contribute to a safer living environment for residents, including security systems/surveillance cameras, fencing, lighting systems, emergency alarm systems, window bars, deadbolt locks, doors, and carbon monoxide detectors.
April 12, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Awards More Than $90 Million for Affordable Housing in Tribal Communities”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced over $90 million in grant awards to 24 Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) across the country to support new housing construction, housing rehabilitation, and critical infrastructure projects.
“This past year was a stark reminder of just how important access to safe, stable housing is – especially in Tribal communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “The funding HUD is awarding today will support much needed affordable housing investments in Indian Country.
The funds were awarded through HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Competitive program to help construct new housing units for low-income families living in Tribal communities. It is projected that this funding will support the construction of approximately 350 new housing units, which will help spur economic opportunities in these communities. This year’s IHBG competition generated a lot of interest and was very oversubscribed with a total of 141 applicants submitted by Tribes and TDHEs. This is the second time HUD is making awards under this program; the first round of awards was made in December 2019…
April 12, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “Secretaries of HUD, VA joint statement on ending Veteran homelessness”. From HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge and VA Secretary Denis McDonough. From the press release:
The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress found that on a single night in January 2020, there were 37,252 Veterans experiencing homelessness in America, an increase of 0.4% over 2019.
This number does not account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has added to the nation’s housing challenges, including among Veterans.
AHAR showed investments from Congress along with strong collaboration between the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) brought about a 47% reduction in Veteran homelessness between 2010 and 2016. However, a GAO report found that, since 2016, progress towards ending Veteran homelessness has stalled. We find this pattern deeply concerning. No Veteran who has served this country – let along more than 37,000 on a given night – should experience homelessness.
We, the secretaries of VA and HUD, are aligning efforts and joining forces to work towards ending Veteran homelessness. We are mobilizing the strength of our two departments to do everything in our power ensure every Veteran has access to safe and stable housing.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle this crisis. The American Rescue Plan included more than $10 billion in funding for individuals who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The American Jobs Plan would invest $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable homes.
Our collaboration is the first step of a multi-phased whole-of-government effort that will ultimately help us end Veteran homelessness. We will evaluate existing strategies, implement new approaches when necessary, and execute a plan to ensure we achieve tangible results that incorporate best practices, feedback, and lessons learned from Veterans, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders.
To fulfill this mission, we will:
- Make ending Veteran homelessness a top priority – VA and HUD will prioritize this effort at the highest levels. Staff in both agencies will collaboratively develop a strategy to significantly reduce the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness, as well as a strategy to ensure that no Veteran experiences homelessness in the future. The secretaries will participate in listening sessions with stakeholder groups, including Veterans with lived expertise. Information and materials gathered will be analyzed for use during quarterly meetings with homeless program staff from both departments to inform decisions about changes to policies and programs. We will develop targets, assess progress, and hold our agencies accountable.
- Lead with an evidence-based Housing First approach – Evidence and past progress on reducing Veteran homelessness demonstrate a Housing First approach works. Together, our agencies will ensure targeted interventions (such as HUD-VA Supportive Housing, Supportive Services for Veteran Families, and Grant and Per Diem) help Veterans obtain stable housing as quickly as possible without barriers or preconditions.
- Reach underserved Veterans – Reducing Veteran homelessness will require new approaches to serving Veterans for whom prior efforts may have fallen short. These include Veterans with less than honorable discharge status, as well as Veterans who are women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, transgender and gender non-conforming, aging, and/or living in rural areas. We will ensure our interagency effort identifies and removes barriers to VA care and services, so benefits are equitably available among underserved Veteran communities.
- Ensure the delivery of quality supportive services – Supportive services are critical to helping Veterans find and retain housing, and to use it as a platform for achieving health, recovery, and economic success. Working diligently with federal and community stakeholders, we commit to identifying ways to ensure Veterans have access to quality supportive health, mental health, and legal services alongside employment and housing assistance, whether provided by VA or community partners.
- Increase the supply of and access to affordable housing – A significant obstacle to ending Veteran homelessness is the lack of affordable housing, especially in many urban centers. We will work jointly, including examining opportunities through the American Rescue Plan and the American Jobs Plan, to increase the supply of affordable housing and ensure Veterans have access. Our agencies will do this by engaging landlords, and affordable housing developers, supporting the use of federal programs to create and subsidize affordable housing, identifying ways to improve Veteran access to these housing units, and supporting state and local collaboration to finance and create affordable housing.
NOTE: I want to clarify a bit about this press release. The AHAR report showed that between 2010 and 2016, the VA and HUD brought about a 47% reduction in Veteran homelessness. President Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, and left office after his second term was completed on January 20, 2017.
The press release also points out that the GAO report found that since 2016, “progress towards ending Veteran homelessness has stalled.” President Donald Trump took office on January 20, 2017. He was a one term-president. The GAO report indicates that President Trump – and his administration – chose not to help Veterans who were experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
President Joe Biden took office on January 20, 2021. He and his administration hit the ground running and immediately set into motion several things that would help people.
April 12, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Initiates Order To Halt Funding To Brooklyn, New York, Operator of Affordable Housing Developments Due To Violations of Anti-Discrimination Laws”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it will begin procedures to suspend federal affordable housing funds to Carbrook Associates LP (Carbrook), after a HUD investigation revealed that it violated federal anti-discrimination laws in the operation of 81 units of multifamily housing in Brooklyn, New York…
HUD’s investigation found that Carbrook failed to address widespread architectural barriers that limit access by individuals with disabilities. In 2019, HUD notified Carbrook of its finding of violations of federal law involving discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Carbrook has refused to come into voluntary compliance to resolve the findings of discrimination.
HUD also commenced a concurrent investigation based on concerns that Carbrook may be excluding tenants of racial and other minority groups in violation of federal anti-discrimination law, leaving the properties occupied almost exclusively by white tenants. As stated in HUD’s letter, Carbrook violated provisions of the law requiring cooperation with HUD’s investigation into these concerns of systemic racial and national origin discrimination.
Since 1981, Carbrook has received federal housing funds to provide affordable housing to income-qualifying families in Brooklyn, New York. In the ten-year period prior to HUD’s findings, Carbrook received over $11.5 million in Project-Based Rental Assistance from HUD to operate two affordable multifamily housing developments.
“Hud is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities, racial minorities, and other underserved communities have an equal opportunity, as guaranteed by federal law, to enjoy accessible, affordable housing,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will not tolerate housing providers taking federal housing funds while shirking their civil rights obligations and refusing to cooperate with federal civil rights investigations.”
In January, President Biden issued a Memorandum to the Secretary, charging HUD to take actions to overcome and redress this Nation’s history of housing discrimination by applying and enforcing Federal civil rights and fair housing laws. This action is one step toward undoing historic patterns of segregation and other types of discrimination that have long denied equitable access to housing opportunity.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance and requires that recipients of federal financial assistance bring their programs and activities into compliance with federal accessibility requirements. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
HUD’s letter notifies Carbrook that HUD is proceeding to suspend, terminate, and refuse to grant federal financial assistance due to Carbrook’s noncompliance with Section 504 and Title IV. Carbrook may request that HUD initiate an administrative hearing regarding this matter within twenty (20) calendar days of the date of the letter. During the pendency of such proceeding, HUD will defer all federal funding assistance it currently provides to Carbrook. Carbrook may avoid these actions if it signs a voluntary compliance agreement under Section 504 and fully cooperates with HUD’s Title VI investigation.
HUD is notifying tenants of the Carbrook properties that federal civil rights laws prohibit intimidation, retaliation against tenants, including threatening eviction or withholding maintenance services, because of HUD’s action. The notification states that the terms and services of tenancy, including the amount of rental payment, should not immediately change due to this action…
April 15, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Announces $41 Million Funding Opportunity To Provide Stable Housing To Low-Income Persons Living With HIV And Their Families”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is making $4.1 million in Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) competitive funding available to states, local governments, and non-profits through the HOPWA: Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS funding opportunity. Housing instability has been a major issue facing many persons living with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic. Achieving and maintaining stable housing can be a powerful structural intervention in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic…
“We know safe, stable housing is critical for persons living with HIV to best manage their health,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “This funding will support communities in ensuring our neighbors are able to access housing alongside medical services. We cannot end the HIV/AIDS epidemic without support for housing.”
Through this NOFO, HUD will provide funding for housing assistance and supportive services for low-income persons living with HIV and their families, coordination and planning activities, and grants management and administration. Selected communities will implement new projects that elevate housing as an effective structural intervention and align with initiatives aimed at ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. HUD is seeking projects with exemplary and innovative qualities, including community-level coordination, data collection with emphasis on stable housing and positive health outcomes, culturally competent approaches to providing housing and services, and a systemic approach to advance equity in underserved communities that can serve as a national place-based model.
Projects funded through this HOPWA funding opportunity will achieve six required project objectives: (1) Implement and document housing and services models for low-income persons living with HIV and their families that are innovative and replicable in other similar localities or nationally; (2) Increase alignment with new or existing local initiatives or strategies to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by elevating housing as an effective structural intervention; (3) Improve coordination among local housing and service providers and use of available community resources; (4) Increase the amount of quality data collected and used for data-driven decision making with an emphasis on stable housing, positive health outcomes, and racial equity; (5) Assess and document replicable practices that ensure equitable access and culturally competent approaches to providing housing and services for subpopulations of persons living with HIV experiencing service gaps; and (6) Prioritize sustainable, effective, and equitable approaches to providing housing and services to persons living with HIV and their families that can be continued past the funded project’s period of performance…
April 16, 2021: HUD posted an press release titled: “HUD Investigation Finds that Dallas Housing Authority Engaged In Disability Discrimination”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has issued findings that the Housing Authority of Dallas (DHA), Texas, discriminated against a tenant with a disability by failing to provide a reasonable accommodation and seeking to evict her. Specifcally, the DHA failed to transfer a tenant with a mobility disability to a ground-flor unit, forcing her to leave her wheelchair and crawl up or down the stairs in order to leave her housing…
“When the housing authority failed to provide this tenant with a ground floor unit, it violated her civil rights, subjected her to indignity, and interfered with her independent use and enjoyment of housing,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Reasonable accommodations are essential to ensuring that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity to enjoy and benefit from housing. HUD will vigorously enforce civil rights laws to ensure that individuals with disabilities served by HUD’s public housing programs are not subjected to discrimination.”
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public housing agencies and other recipients of HUD funding. Recipients must bring their programs, activities, and facilities into compliance with federal accessibility requirements. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also prohibits public entities from discriminating on the basis of disability in all services, activities, and programs, whether or not they receive federal funds.
The case originally came to HUD’s attention when the tenant filed a complaint alleging that she had been discriminated against on the basis of her disability. HUD’s investigation also revealed that the housing authority unlawfully evicted the tenant in retaliation for her efforts to obtain a reasonable accommodation…
April 20, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Charges Texas Rental Property Owner With Discriminating Against Family With Children”. From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is charging an owner of a six-bedroom rental home in Frisco, Texas, with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to a woman and her ten children. HUD’s charge alleges that the owner stated that he could not rent the home to a family with eleven people, even though the mother, a HUD Housing Choice Voucher recipient, was qualified to rent the home…
The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent to a family because of children under the age of 18 and to make statements that discriminate against families with children. This includes making statements or publishing advertisements that indicate a preference or otherwise discriminate against families with children. Housing may exclude children only if it meets the Fair Housing Act’s exemption for housing for older persons.
“Large families have a hard enough time finding suitable housing that meets their needs without also having to face unlawful discrimination,” said Jeanine Worden, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue working to ensure that housing providers comply with the nation’s housing laws.”
“Families come in all sizes, and all are worthy of protection under the law,” said Damon Smith, HUD’s Principal Deputy General Counsel. “HUD is committed to advocating on behalf of families with children to allow them to secure housing free from discrimination.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when the woman filed a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission, a HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program agency, alleging that she was denied the opportunity to rent the home because of the number of children she has. HUD’s charge alleges that the owner initially contacted the mother through GoSection8.com, telling her about his “beautiful 5,095 square-foot home for rent in Frisco.” The charge further alleges that when the woman told the owner that she has ten children, he told her that was too many children and refused to rent to the family. The family ultimately moved to a smaller rental home with fewer bedrooms in a different city.
HUD’s charge will be heard by a United States Administrative Law Judge unless any party elects for the case to be heard in federal court. If the administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, the judge may award damages to the complainant for losses that have resulted from the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest…
April 22, 2021: HUD posted a press release titled: “HUD Withdraws Proposed Rule, Reaffirms Its Commitment to Equal Access to Housing, Shelters, and Other Services Regardless of Gender Identity”. From the press release:
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge on Thursday announced that HUD is withdrawing the previous administration’s proposed rule that would have weakened the Equal Access Rule. The Equal Access Rule ensures that all individuals – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – have equal access to the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development programs, shelters, other buildings and facilities, benefits, services, and accommodations.
“Access to safe, stable housing – and shelter – is a basic necessity,” said Secretary Fudge. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender non-conforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cis-gender people. Today we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all.”
The previous administration refused to fully implement the Equal Access Rule and proposed a rule in 2020 that would have allowed shelter programs and operators to subject transgender individuals to inappropriate and intrusive inquiries, deny them accommodations, and subject them to greater harassment.
HUD has submitted its action withdrawing that rule to the Federal Register, which is expected to publish it next week. This action reaffirms HUD’s mission and commitment to creating inclusive communities and quality housing for all. Excluding any eligible person from HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development funded emergency shelters, temporary housing, buildings, housing, or programs because of a person’s gender identity is counter to HUD’s mission.
Along with this announcement, HUD is releasing technical assistance resources prepared by technical assistance providers to HUD grantees. These resources will support HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development grantees in implementing the Equal Access Rule…
HUD is Ending Housing Discrimination will be updated through the end of April of 2021. A new blog post about what HUD is doing will cover the next four months of 2021.
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