Information provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Fair housing organizations and other non-profits that receive funding through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) assist people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination.
FHIP organizations partner with HUD to help people identify government agencies that handle complaints of housing discrimination. They also conduct preliminary investigation of claims, including sending "testers" to properties suspected of practicing housing discrimination. Testers are minorities and whites with the same financial qualifications who evaluate whether housing providers treat equally-qualified people differently.
In addition to funding organizations that provide direct assistance to individuals who feel they have been discriminated against while attempting to purchase or rent housing, FHIP also has initiatives that promote fair housing laws and equal housing opportunity awareness.
FHIP has four initiatives; however, three currently provide funds, through competitive grants, to eligible organizations. The initiatives are:
- The Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) provides funding that builds the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations by providing funds to handle fair housing enforcement and education initiatives more effectively. FHOI also strengthens the fair housing movement nationally by encouraging the creation and growth of organizations that focus on the rights and needs of underserved groups, particularly persons with disabilities.
- The Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) offers a range of assistance to the nationwide network of fair housing groups. This initiative funds non-profit fair housing organizations to carry out testing and enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
- The Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) offers a comprehensive range of support for fair housing activities, providing funding to State and local government agencies and non-profit organizations for initiatives that explain to the general public and housing providers what equal opportunity in housing means and what housing providers need to do to comply with the Fair Housing Act.
- The Administrative Enforcement Initiative (AEI) helps State and local governments who administer laws that include rights and remedies similar to those in the Fair Housing Act implement specialized projects that broaden an agency's range of enforcement and compliance activities. No funds are available currently for this program.
- FHIP-FHOI: Applicants must be qualified fair housing enforcement organizations with at least two years of experience in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations, and meritorious claims in the three years prior to the filing of their application.
- FHIP-PEI: Fair housing enforcement organizations that meet certain requirements related to the length and quality of previous fair housing enforcement experience may apply for FHIP-PEI funding.
- FHIP-EOI: State or local governments, qualified fair housing enforcement organizations (those with at least 2 years of experience), other fair housing organizations, and other public or private nonprofit organizations representing groups of persons protected by the Fair Housing Act may apply for FHIP-EOI funding.
- FHIP-FHOI: Grants may be used flexibly to support the basic operation and activities of new and existing non-profit fair housing organizations.
- FHIP-PEI: Funds such activities as conducting complaint-based and targeted testing and other investigations of housing discrimination, linking fair-housing organizations in regional enforcement activities, and establishing effective means of meeting legal expenses in support of fair housing litigation.
- FHIP-EOI: Funds a broad range of educational activities that can be national, regional, local, or community-based in scope. Activities may include developing education materials, analyzing local impediments to housing choice, providing housing counseling and classes, convening meetings that bring together the housing industry with fair housing groups, developing technical materials on accessibility, and mounting public information campaigns. National projects that demonstrate cooperation with the real estate industry or focus on resolving the community tensions that arise as people expand their housing choices may be eligible to receive preference points.
Previously Awarded Grants:
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