HUD: Nearly $1 Million in CARES Act Funding Awarded to 19 State and Local Fair Housing Organizations

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is awarding $962,160 in funding to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies in New York, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Indiana, Florida, Nebraska, Hawaii, South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Jersey to support activities related to COVID-19. The awards to the nineteen organizations are part of $1.5 million in Partnership and Special Enforcement Effort funds being provided to FHAP agencies through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) of 2020, which President Trump signed into law to provide federal agencies with the resources needed to combat COVID-19.

“The funds being awarded today will do much to help these organizations address potential fair housing issues related to COVID-19,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “FHAP agencies not only have considerable knowledge about how the virus is affecting communities they serve, they are adept at making the most of financial resources they receive.”

The New York State Division of Human Rights is receiving $144,485 to fund the hiring of additional staff to address its backlog of cases that was created by the alteration of work processes due to COVID-19, and purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Louisiana Department of Justice is receiving $11,508 to fund the purchase of technology that will enable the agency to continue its operations in a 100 percent remote environment, including laptops, multifunction devices, and computer accessories for staff engaged in fair housing activities.

The Rhode Island Commission on Civil Rights is receiving $11,268 in funding to publish COVID-19 related fair housing notices in various media platforms, and to purchase technology that will allow the agency to operate in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Sioux City Human Rights Commission is receiving $39,186 to fund the hiring of additional staff to address its backlog of cases and assist in education and outreach, partner with community-based organizations to conduct education and outreach, and partner with the Fair Housing Center of Nebraska and Iowa to conduct COVID-19 related fair housing testing.

The Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations is receiving $23,375 to fund the hiring of additional staff to address its backlog of cases and assist in education and outreach, and partner with the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh to conduct COVID-19 related fair housing testing.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is receiving $75,000 to fund the hiring of additional staff to address its backlog of cases, develop COVID-19 specific training content and outreach materials, and purchase technology to conduct the trainings.

The California Department of Fair Employment & Housing is receiving $83,228 to fund the hiring of additional staff to address its backlog of cases and to purchase technology that will allow the agency to improve the agency’s ability to operate in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Fort Worth Human Relations Commission is receiving $22,911 to partner with community partners and business leaders to develop and distribute COVID-19 specific outreach materials, develop a targeted social media campaign, and to purchase technology to operate in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission is receiving $17,810 to purchase technology that will allow the agency to improve its ability to operate in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Pinellas County Office of Human Rights is receiving $50,000 to develop COVID-19 specific training content and outreach materials in partnership with the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, which will produce national COVID-19 related fair housing training.

The Florida Commission on Human Relations is receiving $100,350 to hire staff to address the impact COVID-19 has on the timeliness of case processing and fair housing investigations, purchase protective equipment, and purchase technology that will enable it to operate in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity is receiving $17,442 to purchase equipment that will allow it to function in a 100 percent remote environment, including laptops, printers, and scanners.

The Omaha Human Rights and Relations Department is receiving $13,661 to develop education and outreach materials, conduct a radio and television media advertising campaign, and to purchase technology that will allow the agency to improve the agency’s ability to operate in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission is receiving $86,001 to hire a staff person to address the impact COVID-19 related loss of capacity has had on timely case processing and fair housing investigations.

The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission is receiving $50,703 to purchase technology that will allow it to function in a 100 percent remote environment, broadcast fair housing administrative hearings remotely, conduct an advertising campaign to educate the public on their COVID-19 specific fair housing rights and the state’s obligations, and purchase protective equipment.

The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights is receiving $11,180 to purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100 percent remote environment.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is receiving $70,000 to partner with disability rights organizations to conduct an in-depth assessment of the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities, and partner with governmental organizations to provide education and outreach on COVID-19 and housing rights to migrant and seasonal farmworker communities and service providers.

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is receiving $22,093 to partner with community and state agencies to provide webinars on COVID-19 and fair housing, create a COVID-19 hotline and question box, purchase protective equipment for staff engaged in in-person fair housing related activities, and purchase technology that will enable it to function in a 100 percent remote environment.

And the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights is receiving $111,956 to hire a staff person to address the impact COVID-19 related loss of capacity has had on timely case processing and fair housing investigations, hire a vendor to create and manage a social media and digital advertising campaign on fair housing rights as they relate to COVID-19, develop COVID-19 related education and outreach materials, and purchase technology that will improve its ability to function in a 100 percent remote environment.

Partnership funds allow FHAP agencies to utilize the services of individuals and/or public, private, for-profit, or not-for-profit organizations that have expertise in enforcing federal, state, and local fair housing laws. Similarly, Special Enforcement Effort funds enhance the fair housing enforcement activities of FHAP agencies.

Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint of discrimination by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

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