March 3, 2011

What’s the “H”?

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I like to think that the “H” in HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) not only stands for housing, but for help: Helping consumers make important decisions about their housing needs or informing them about programs here at HUD.   As we approach National Consumer Week, (March 6-12) a campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their and make better-informed decisions, I wanted to let consumers know about some of the important information that HUD has to offer.

Recently, HUD awarded over $40 million to 108 fair housing organizations and non-profit agencies across the country to assist HUD in helping people who feel they’ve been denied housing because they have a family, their race/color, national origin, disability, religion, or gender.  Being denied a home for any of these reasons is against the law and violates the Fair Housing Act. These organizations will use these funds to investigate allegations of housing discrimination, educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Act.   For example, a New York resident who uses a wheelchair knew to contact HUD and file a complaint because his landlord refused to give him an accessible parking space.

Victims of domestic violence may also be victims of housing discrimination and may not even know it.  Because they are often served with eviction notices following domestic violence incidents, landlords cite the danger posed to other tenants and property damage caused by the abuser as the reason for eviction. To help out people in these types of situations, HUD recently issued guidance stating that domestic violence victims may have basis to file a housing discrimination complaint with HUD. The guidance states HUD  authority, under the Fair Housing Act, to investigate whether the denial or eviction violates the Act based on gender or another protected class.

In addition to combating housing discrimination, HUD is also dedicated to getting the “lead out,” of homes, that is.  Earlier this week, HUD awarded $7.8 million in grants to 14 local projects in nine states to conduct a wide range of activities that include eliminating lead and housing-related hazards in thousands of homes, and researching the cost effectiveness of home-based interventions for children with asthma. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children’s development and have effects lasting into adulthood.

From housing discrimination to lead abatement in homes, HUD can help. For questions about discrimination or to file a complaint online, visit HUD’s Fair Housing page or call 1-800-669-9777.  For more information on lead dangers visit HUD’s Healthy Home page.

Additionally, HUD is also a great resource for questions about and information pertaining to Housing Choice Vouchers (Section Eight), HUD HomesHousing Counselors, Rental Assistance, Landlord Tenant issues and many more, visit today.

See, the “H” in HUD really does stand for help!


5 Responses to What’s the “H”?

  1. Why won’t HUD’s FHEO investigate my and my sister’s civil rights complaint “John E. Colby, Ph.D. and Patricia E. Colby v. HUD–FHEO”?

    HUD’s FHEO has little to crow about when this agency which was created to enforce civil rights for disabled individuals denies them their civil rights instead.

    Fair Housing is not fair.

    • Hello John, Thank you for your comment. I checked with FHEO and learned that we did investigate both complaints and both were found to be no cause. If you have additional questions or concerns about your complaints please call 1-800-669-9777.

      • Hello April. Sorry to say, but FHEO has misled you.

        FHEO was referring to the two housing discrimination complaints which led my sister and I to lodge a Section 504 civil rights complaint against FHEO. These two flawed investigations in which no cause was found precipitated our Section 504 complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice against FHEO yet ignored by FHEO.

        These two complaints were both “Colby v. Mission Gardens et. al.”: FHEO is conflating the two housing discrimination complaints with the Section 504 civil rights complaint against them which they refuse to investigate.

        If HUD’s FHEO has changed its mind and plans to investigate the complaint “John E. Colby, Ph.D. and Patricia E. Colby v. HUD–FHEO”, please provide us the case number since HUD’s FHEO refuses to give me one.

  2. I think getting the “lead out” of homes as well as other housing related hazards is necessary. As an Asthma sufferer myself I guess the “H” in HUD in this case can stand for Health but surprised that in 2011 lead is still an issue in homes.

  3. Hello 203k,
    Thank you for your comment. Please check our out latest blog post, \The H in HUD Can Stand for Health Too..

    Let us know what you think.

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