|HUD No. 22-060
HUD Public Affairs
April 5, 2022
HUD MAKES ADDITIONAL $3.3 MILLION IN AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS AVAILABLE TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION RELATED TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Tuesday that it is making an additional $3,285,353 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.
Organizations that qualify for the funding, which is being awarded through FHIP’s Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) component, will be able to use the money to conduct a range of fair housing enforcement and education and outreach activities, including addressing discriminatory practices in underserved communities.
The funds constitute the third round of ARP funding that targets COVID-19 related discrimination. To date, approximately $16.1 million in ARP funding has been awarded to 62 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.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal inequities in housing opportunities for many communities,” said Demetria L. McCain, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Our fair housing partners will utilize these additional funds to oppose discriminatory practices and safeguard housing rights for American families.”
In addition to enforcement and education and outreach activities, the funding can be used to respond to housing inquiries, conduct fair housing testing, provide legal assistance, and cover costs associated with providing services related to the pandemic.
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 5, 2022.
People who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay). Housing discrimination complaints may also be filed by going to www.hud.gov/fairhousing.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov.
Justice Department Alleges Disability Discrimination in Amended Lawsuit Concerning Design and Construction of Multifamily Housing in Hawaii
The Justice Department filed an amended complaint today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, alleging that 14 entities designed and constructed five condominium and apartment complexes in Hawaii without accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act. Two of the properties — Kahului Town Terrace, in Kahului, Maui; and Palehua Terrace, in Kapolei, Oahu — were built with financial assistance from the federal government’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. The other three properties are Napilihau Villages and Napili Villas, in Lahaina, Maui; and Wailea Fairway Villas, in Kihei, Maui.
The government’s original complaint named the general contractor for all five properties and the architects of four of the properties. The amended complaint adds the following defendants, alleging that each contributed to the Fair Housing Act violations: Stanford Carr Development LLC; SCD Wailea Fairways LLC; Sato & Associates Inc.; Ronald M. Fukumoto Engineering Inc.; Rojac Construction Inc.; Delta Construction Corp.; Warren S. Unemori Engineering Inc.; and GYA Architects Inc.
“Companies behind the mass development of condominiums, apartment complexes and other forms of multifamily housing must ensure that these properties are designed and built to be accessible to people with disabilities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Federal accessibility rules have been in place for more than three decades, and we will hold accountable developers, architects, contractors and other entities that fail to comply with these legal obligations.”
The amended complaint alleges the same accessibility violations as the original complaint. For example, many covered units are inaccessible to persons using wheelchairs because the routes to the entrances include stairs or steep slopes; many routes to public and common areas are inaccessible because of missing sidewalks, missing curb ramps or steep slopes; and many units have inaccessible hardware at entry doors, interior doors that are too narrow and insufficient space in kitchens and bathrooms to maneuver in a wheelchair. The requested relief includes a court order requiring the defendants to retrofit the five properties to bring them into compliance with the Fair Housing Act, as well as monetary damages to compensate victims.
Individuals who may have been affected by the lack of accessibility at these properties should call the Civil Rights Division’s Housing Discrimination Hotline at 1-833-591-0291, press 1 for English, press 6 for this case, and leave a message, or send an email to fairhousing.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, sex, familial status and national origin. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at fairhousing, or submit a report online at https://civilrights.justice.gov/. Individuals may also contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777, or online at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp.
Posted by: Byron King on 04/11/22 (This information is only accurate as of 04/11/22. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 04/11/22 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at screaltors.org or email byron at screaltors.org)
This information is not legal advice. This information is intended only to provide general information and may not be relied upon as specific legal guidance. Legal counsel should always be consulted before acting in reliance on this information.