Programs of HUD: Major Mortgage, Grant, Assistance, and Regulatory Programs 2018
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very-Low Income Persons (Section 3)
Fosters local economic development, job opportunities, and self-sufficiency.
Nature of Program: Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 requires
that when new jobs or contracts are created as a result of the usage of certain HUD funds
(including Public and Indian Housing funds), priority consideration is given, to the greatest
extent feasible, to low- and very low-income persons residing in the community in which the
funds are spent and to businesses that provide economic opportunities for these persons.
All direct recipients of HUD funds that are covered by Section 3 must document actions taken to
comply with the regulatory requirements and submit reports annually. Pursuant to the regulation,
HUD not only reviews this information for compliance but also conducts periodic compliance
reviews of recipients and contractors. Additionally, HUD investigates complaints filed by
Section 3 residents and business concerns alleging noncompliance. Agencies that are found to be
in noncompliance may be subject to sanctions including debarment, suspension, or limited denial
of participation in HUD programs.
Eligibility: Direct recipients of HUD financial assistance, such as public housing agencies,
nonprofit organizations, and state and local governments.
Legal Authority: Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968
(12 U.S.C. 1701u). Regulations are at 24 CFR part 135.
Information Sources: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Office of
Programs, Economic Opportunity Division.
Assures nondiscrimination and equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from HUDassisted programs or activities.
Nature of Program: HUD has the responsibility to ensure compliance with federal civil rights laws and requirements prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.) and HUD's implementing regulations at 24 CFR Part 1 prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in the administration of programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance and impose affirmative obligations on such programs or activities to remedy the effects of past discrimination.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) and HUD's implementing regulations at 24 CFR parts 8 and 9 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance and require compliance with accessibility requirements in housing and non-housing programs receiving Federal financial assistance.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12131 et seq.) and the Department of Justice's (DOJ) implementing regulations at 28 CFR part 35 prohibit public entities, including states and local governments and special purpose districts, from discriminating on the basis of disability, and from denying such individuals participation in and the benefit of a public entity’s services, programs, and activities. Title II extends the prohibition of discrimination in Federally-assisted programs established by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to all activities of states and local governments, regardless of the presence of Federal financial assistance. Under Title II of the ADA, HUD is designated as an agency for investigating complaints and conducting compliance reviews with respect to all programs, services, and regulatory activities relating to state and local public housing, and housing assistance and referral.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12181 et seq.) and DOJ's implementing regulation at 28 CFR part 36 prohibit private entities that own, lease, and operate places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of disability.
The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.) and HUD's implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 146 prohibit discrimination on the basis of age in the provision of services or programs receiving Federal financial assistance.
Section 109 of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5309) and HUD's implementing regulations at 24 CFR Part 6 prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex for any program or activity funded in whole or in part with Title I Federal financial assistance.
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) and HUD's implementing regulations at 24 CFR Part 3 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.) and HUD's implementing regulations at 24 CFR parts 40 and 41 prescribe standards for the design, construction, and alteration of residential structures designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds to ensure such structures are accessible to and usable by persons with physical disabilities.
Technical assistance is available to state and local agencies with civil rights questions in HUDassisted programs and activities. Recipients that are in noncompliance are given the opportunity to achieve voluntary compliance. If this fails, Federal assistance for the program may be refused,
terminated, or suspended, or HUD may pursue any other means authorized by law to effect compliance, includingreferral to the Department of Justice for enforcement.
Applicant Eligibility: Any HUD-assisted program or activity, except contracts of insurance or guaranty, is subject to Title VI, Section 504, and the Age Discrimination Act. CDBG recipients are also subject to Section 109; HUD-assisted educational programs are also subject to Title IX.
Any person or group suspecting discrimination in any HUD-assisted program may file a complaint.
Information Sources: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Office of Enforcement and Programs, Compliance and Disability Rights Division.
Prohibits discrimination in housing and residential real estate transactions.
Nature of Program: HUD has responsibility for enforcing the Fair Housing Act, which applies to almost all housing in the country. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status (including individuals or families with children under 18 years of age and pregnant women, though certain housing for older persons does not have familial status protections).
The Fair Housing Act also prohibits discrimination in residential real estate-related transactions and makes it illegal to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with people exercising their rights under the Act or assisting others in exercising their rights. The Fair Housing Act also prohibits the adoption and enforcement of discriminatory zoning and land use ordinances. Furthermore, since 1991, most multifamily dwellings of four or more units have been required to be designed and built so that the units are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Fair Housing Act, in conjunction with other statutes, also provides that HUD must administer all of its programs and activities in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing, which includes ensuring that recipients of HUD funding take action to affirmatively further fair housing. Many recipients of HUD funding are required to comply with HUD's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. The process under the rule includes conducting an assessment of fair housing, setting goals to overcome contributing factors and related fair housing issues, and ultimately taking meaningful actions to affirmatively further fair housing. Anyone who believes that he or she has been discriminated against can file a complaint with any HUD office in person, by mail, online, or by telephone within one year after the alleged discrimination has occurred. HUD or an equivalent state or local agency will investigate and attempt to conciliate the complaint. If it is not conciliated and it appears that discrimination has occurred, then HUD will issue a charge. A HUD administrative law judge (ALJ) will hold a hearing unless either party chooses to take a case to federal district court.
Applicant Eligibility: Any individual experiencing housing discrimination may file a complaint with any HUD office, in person, by mail, online, or by telephone, not later than one year after the alleged discriminatory act has occurred or terminated. An aggrieved person may also file suit in a federal court not later than two years after the alleged discriminatory act has occurred or terminated, whether or not a complaint has been filed with HUD. HUD has established a national toll-free housing discrimination hotline at: (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).
Legal Authority: Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968(42 U.S.C. 3601-3619). Regulations are at 24 CFR parts 100, 103, and 180
Information Sources: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Office of Enforcement, Enforcement Support Division.
Funding to provide assistance and reimbursements to state and local fair housing enforcement agencies that enforce fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.
Nature of Program: HUD provides FHAP funding annually on a noncompetitive basis to state and local agencies that enforce fair housing laws that HUD has determined to be substantially equivalent to the federal Fair Housing Act. These agencies investigate and enforce complaints of housing discrimination that arise within their jurisdiction. This assistance includes support for complaint processing, training, technical assistance, data and information systems, and other fair housing projects. The program is designed to build coordinated intergovernmental enforcement of fair housing laws and provide incentives for states and localities to assume a greater share of the responsibility for the administration and enforcement of fair housing laws.
For a state or local law to be certified as "substantially equivalent," the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity must determine that the state or local law provides substantive rights, procedures, remedies, and the availability of judicial review comparable to the Federal law. In addition, the agency's performance must meet specific criteria established under the Fair Housing Act and the regulations set forth at 24 CFR part 115.
Applicant Eligibility: Only governmental entities are eligible to participate in the FHAP. Participating agencies must (1) administer a state or local law certified by HUD as "substantially equivalent" and (2) execute a written "Interim Agreement" or "Memorandum of Understanding" with HUD, outlining the working relationship between the agency and the appropriate HUD Regional Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
Legal Authority: Section 817 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601-3619 ). Regulations are at 24 CFR part 115.
Information Sources: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Office of Enforcement, FHAP Division.
Grants to public and private entities formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.
Nature of Program: FHIP establishes and supports a network of State and local governments, public or private non-profit organizations, and other public or private entities throughout the nation to foster compliance with the Fair Housing Act (FHAct) and substantially equivalent state and local fair housing laws. This is the only grant program within the federal government whose primary purpose is to support private efforts to prevent and address housing discrimination.
FHIP organizations partner with HUD to promote awareness to the public, housing providers, and others about their rights and responsibilities under the FHAct. They also conduct preliminary investigation of claims, including sending "testers" to properties suspected of practicing housing discrimination. Testers include various protected classes under the FHAct 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 engaging in housing-related services, such as attempting to purchase or rent housing, FHIP provides grants to organizations to conduct these education and outreach and enforcement activities, under a competitive grant process:
The Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI): Provides funding that builds capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit fair housing organizations by providing funds to handle fair housing enforcement and education initiatives more effectively. It also encourages the creation and growth of organizations that focus on the rights and needs of underserved groups, or in underserved areas, particularly persons with disabilities. Grants may be used flexibly to support the basic operation and activities of new or existing nonprofit fair housing organizations.
The Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI): Offers a range of assistance to the nationwide network for fair housing groups. It funds nonprofit fair housing organizations to carry out testing and enforcement-related activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices. Grants may be used for activities such as complaintbased and targeted testing and other investigations of housing discrimination and establishing effective means of meeting legal expenses in support of fair housing litigation.
The Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI): Offers a comprehensive range of support for fair housing activities, provides funding to state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations for initiatives that explain to and educate the general public and housing providers what equal opportunity in housing means and what housing providers must do to comply with the FHAct. Activities eligible for funding 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 community tensions that arise as people expand their housing choices may be eligible to receive preference points.
FHIP-FHOI: Applicants must be fair housing enforcement organizations (FHOs) or qualified fair housing enforcement organizations (QFHOs), or other private non-profit fair housing enforcement organizations and non-profit groups building their capacity to provide fair housing enforcement.
FHIP-PEI: Applicants must be FHOs or QFHOs that meet certain requirements related to years and length of time for experience in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations, and meritorious claims in the two years prior to the filing of their application.
FHIP-EOI: State or local governments, FHOs, QFHOs, 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.
Legal Authority: Section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 3616a). Regulations are at 24 CFR part 125.
Information Sources: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Office of Programs, FHIP Division.