There have been a number of articles in the news this week regarding segregation in America. While the numbers and faces may be different than at the advent of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, the law’s essential mandate to end housing segregation is as important as ever.
HUD is increasing systemic action against rental, sales and lending discrimination in housing and will be working with –and insisting that– cities across the nation that receive HUD funds reduce still prevalent barriers to educational and other life opportunities.
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity and our state, local and private partners receive over 10,000 complaints of housing discrimination annually – a figure that fails to capture the full extent of discrimination by race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status and disability. This year, HUD will conduct its decennial discrimination studies to assess the level of housing bias against African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans which worsens segregation. These studies will quantify the degree to which, for example, real estate agents steer customers of different races to different neighborhoods and apartment managers offer different incentives to applicants based on race or national origin. These actions deeply affect where individuals and families can reside. HUD and our state and local fair housing partners will use these studies and fair housing testing to direct our enforcement efforts and reduce discriminatory and illegal practices.
John Trasviña is the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity.