Agencies can apply to grants opportunities to fight housing discrimination related to the COVID-19 Pandemic until May 11, 2023; Resources build on COVID-19 related loss mitigation efforts that kept nearly 2 million people in their homes during the COVID-19 National Emergency
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is making an additional $3,385,353 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding available to help HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) agencies combat housing discrimination related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be discrimination on the perception that someone has COVID (i.e., Black, Brown, Asian communities may have the stigma of having COVID and landlords don’t want to rent to them) or people who have suffered evictions because of loss of income due to no work because of the pandemic.
“HUD is committed to making sure people are not discriminated against when they are searching for housing,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “This American Rescue Plan funding will ensure COVID-19 status or identity is detached from a person’s ability to rent or keep a home.”
The funds constitute the fourth round of ARP funding that focuses on COVID-19 related housing discrimination. To date, more than $16 million in ARP funding has been awarded to FHIP agencies working to address the unequal impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on communities of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations through projects that encourage a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society. The funding is being awarded through FHIP’s Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI). Organizations that qualify for the funding will be able to use the money to develop, implement, and coordinate education and outreach programs designed to inform members of the public of their rights and obligations under the Fair Housing Act.
“Negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be experienced by many communities. HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program partners are uniquely positioned to address the housing discrimination concerns of vulnerable populations,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “President Biden’s American Rescue Plan bolstered fight against housing discrimination by providing the financial resources needed by community partners. The funds being made available will help ensure that our state and local partners have the tools necessary to provide educational resources and restore the lives of people and families who continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
HUD is committed to assisting people impacted by COVID-19. Thanks to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs, approximately 2 million homeowners with FHA mortgages were able to stay in their homes from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 through December 2022 – when doing so was often a matter of life and death. During this period of time amid the pandemic, FHA borrowers whose ability to make their mortgage payments was impaired by the pandemic were able to obtain either a COVID-19 forbearance or a more permanent solution such as a loan modification that allowed them to avoid foreclosure.
The funding that is available starting today can be used to provide fair housing education and outreach services through several vehicles, including mass media and trainings.
The EOI grants being made available today are:
- ARP National Media Campaign Component (EOI-NMCC) – $1,000,000 – This component provides funds to eligible organizations to create a multi-faceted media campaign to address housing discrimination issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in underserved communities.
- ARP EOI Regional/Local/General (EOI-GC) – $2,385,353 – This component provides funding to eligible organizations to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the fair housing related effects of the COVID-19 pandemic through enhanced fair housing education and outreach services and related infrastructure.
Applicants who are interested in applying for funding should go to www.Grants.gov to obtain a copy of the specific Notice of Funding Opportunity, forms, instructions, and other application materials. Additional information can be found on HUD’s website, www.hud.gov.
Applications must be received by May 11, 2023.