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 8, 2009

GAO Says DOJ Should Indicate Reasons for Rejecting Fair Housing Complaints

On December 3, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on how the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division can increase its enforcement efforts. After reviewing the Division's activities between 2001 and 2007, the GAO recommends that the Division alter its Interactive Case Management System (ICM) to include a field for capturing the reasons that fair housing and other matters are closed. Taking this step would strengthen the Division's ability to account for its efforts, the GAO argues.

The GAO report also noted that most (456 of 517) of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) matters the Division handled were initiated under the DOJ's "pattern or practice" authority, primarily alleging discrimination on the basis of race or disability and involving land use/zoning/local government or rental issues. Most (250 of 269) of the cases filed as plaintiff included an FHA claim. These FHA cases primarily involved rental issues (146) and alleged discrimination on the basis of disability (115) or race (70).

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