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, September 1, 2009

Reshaping of Justice Department Implies Increased Fair Housing Enforcement

A report in today's New York Times indicates a significant shift by the Obama administration in the role of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division.

Attorney General Eric Holder aims to shine the Division's enforcement spotlight on housing and other areas, such as employment, where minorities have been disproportionately treated. The prior administration preferred to focus on individual cases in which there was evidence of intentional discrimination.

In addition to the Division's change in focus, the White House has proposed hiring 50 more lawyers to add muscle to the civil rights enforcement arsenal.

The DOJ and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are the two federal agencies charged with enforcing the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Do you agree with this shift in the Division's role? Is the hiring of additional civil rights attorneys an initiative that is long overdue, or is it an inappropriate expenditure of taxpayers' money?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Donna Olson said...

This could not come at a better time! I teach fair housing and diversity classes on a national scale (mainly in the multi-family housing industry)and I often get the question, "I'ts 2009, don't you think discrimionation is minimal?" My usual response is that for every 2 steps we move forward when it comes to discrimination and fair housing there's one step back. Just because we don't see the information on page one of the newspaper doesn't mean it's not there. Just turn to the back of the section, look down towards the bottom of the page and there you will see a few lines about an incident of discrimination. And it still amazes me the amount of landlords and employers that could care less about law. Education and enforcment of the law is still the best way to get the message across.