HUD ramps up grants to fair housing groups

$40.8M awarded to groups that help feds investigate claims, educate public

Federal housing regulators are boosting grant funding by 48 percent to fair housing groups and nonprofit agencies that educate the public about housing and lending discrimination laws and help catch violators.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $40.8 million to 108 fair housing organizations and nonprofit agencies in 36 states and the District of Columbia through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program, up from $27.6 million last year.

The grants are used to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act, and to promote equal housing opportunities.

Most of the money — $28 million — is earmarked for private enforcement initiatives, in which fair housing organizations investigate alleged housing discrimination. This year’s award includes $10 million to fund activities that address lending discrimination, including mortgage rescue scams, HUD said.