HUD Awards $1.5 Million to Fight Housing Discrimination in Massachusetts

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David Tille

BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded more than $1.5 million to fair housing organizations in Massachusetts working to confront violations of the nation’s landmark Fair Housing Act and help end housing discrimination (see grant chart below).

This funding is part of $40 million in grants being awarded nationwide.  Read a complete project-by-project summary of the programs awarded grants today.

HUD’s grants are provided through the Department’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) to help people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination and to educate the public and housing providers on the nation’s fair housing laws.

More than $1 million of the funding announced today is being awarded to grantees located in Opportunity Zones. Created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones aim to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities.

“Every person should have a fair chance to live in a community of opportunity, free from discrimination, said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator.  “Working closely with our fair housing partners on the ground, the investments we make today are a strong step forward to put an end to housing discrimination in Massachusetts.”

HUD’s FHIP grants support a wide range of fair housing enforcement, and education and outreach activities. The grants will allow the groups to provide fair housing enforcement through testing in the rental and sales markets, file fair housing complaints with HUD, and conduct investigations. Additionally, the education and outreach activities these organizations will conduct will help to educate the public, housing providers, and local governments about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

The FHIP grants issued today are provided under HUD’s Education and Outreach (EOI), Fair Housing Organization (FHOI) and Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) grant categories.

  • Private Enforcement Initiative grants – These awards help nonprofit fair housing enforcement organizations carry out investigations and other enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
  • Education and Outreach Initiative grants – HUD awards these grants to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under federal law or state and local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.
  • Fair Housing Organizations Initiative grants – HUD awards these grants to help build the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations to continue and enhance enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.

The grants help Qualified Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations, Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations, public and private non-profit organizations or institutions, and other public or private entities whose enforcement and education and outreach activities help to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices. HUD is also awarding $1.5 million in Partnership Funds to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies. FHAP organizations are state and local government agencies that enforce local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).

Fair Housing Initiatives 2019 Grant Awards

State
Recipient
Amount
MA
Community Legal Aid, Inc.
$300,000
Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, Inc.*
$300,000
SouthCoast Fair Housing, Inc.*
$300,000
SouthCoast Fair Housing, Inc.*
$125,000
Suffolk University
$299,989
Suffolk University*
$125,000
Way Finders, Inc.*
$122,760
TOTAL
$1,572,749