Fair Housing vs. Unfair Housing

Do you know the difference?

Knowing the difference between fair housing and unfair housing isn't as obvious as you might think. This blog aims to present a variety of important and interesting fair housing issues.

If you're an apartment professional, avoid costly mistakes by reading the stories of others who — even with good intentions — learned compliance lessons the hard way. (For the easy way, click here.)

If you live in an apartment, get familiar with your rights when it comes to housing discrimination, as well as your options for seeking justice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DOJ Issues Year-End Report on Fair Housing Enforcement

The Department of Justice (DOJ) this month released a "written statement" to report on its efforts in combating housing discrimination across the United States. The report noted several achievements:
  • In fiscal years 2007 and 2008, the DOJ obtained settlements and judgments in fair housing and fair lending cases requiring the payment of a total of up to $12 million in monetary damages to victims of discrimination and civil penalties to the government.

  • In fiscal year 2008, 39% of the DOJ's total cases and 45% of its pattern or practice cases alleged race discrimination.

  • In fiscal year 2008, the DOJ conducted more than 600 paired tests, exceeding by almost 25% the number of tests conducted in fiscal year 2007, which in turn significantly exceeded the next highest number of tests conducted in any previous year since the inception of the DOJ's new testing program.
The statement, however, concluded on a more cautiously optimistic note:
In sum, the Division has contributed a great deal to the fight against housing and lending discrimination in this nation. Yet there remains much work to be done, and we will continue to dedicate our energy and resources to exposing and eliminating discriminatory housing and lending practices.
Let's see what 2009 will bring...

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