HUD awards $550K to fight housing discrimination in N.J.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded $54 million to 182 fair housing organizations across the country under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program.  The grants will support the efforts of national, state and local fair housing entities working to address violations of the Fair Housing Act and helping to end discrimination in housing.

For New Jersey, a total of $550,000 was awarded, of which Citizen Action of New Jersey  will receive $125,000 and the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey gets $425,000.

“Far too many families in our country still face unconscionable prejudice, both as renters and homeowners,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said. “The Fair Housing Initiatives Program puts money into communities to help them root out discrimination in housing. I am pleased to provide our state and local partners with the resources they need to combat inequity and build a fairer, more inclusive country for all.”

“Housing discrimination affects thousands of families in New Jersey. So many renters face bias if they are disabled, pay their rent with a Housing Choice Voucher, are Black or brown, and for many other reasons. These grants assist local organizations in identifying these biases, so they can clear the way for families to live where they choose,” Alicka Ampry-Samuel, HUD regional administrator for New York and New Jersey, said.

This award precedes the first anniversary of the President Joe Biden administration’s Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity Action Plan, led by Fudge and White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice.

The grant funding will allow the grantees to provide fair housing enforcement by conducting investigations, testing to identify discrimination in the rental and sales markets, and filing fair housing complaints with HUD or substantially equivalent state and local agencies. In addition, grantees will conduct education and outreach activities to inform the public, housing providers and local governments about rights and responsibilities that exist under the Fair Housing Act.