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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced over half a million dollars in additional funding to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies in 12 states to support activities related to COVID-19. These awards are part of $1.5 million in Partnership and Special Enforcement Effort funds provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act of 2020, which President Trump signed into law to provide federal agencies with the resources needed to combat COVID-19. In June, HUD awarded approximately $1 million of this funding to 19 FHAP organizations.

“These organizations are extremely knowledgeable about the communities they serve and how COVID-19 is affecting housing choices, but they need financial resources to address the issues they are seeing,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “The funds being provided today will allow them to provide additional COVID-19 related fair housing outreach and purchase the equipment and technology they need and to conduct the wide-ranging types of activities, which will ensure that families have equal access to housing during this challenging period.”

Partnership funds allow FHAP agencies to utilize the services of individuals and/or public, private, for-profit or not-for-profit organizations that have expertise in enforcing federal, state and local fair housing laws. Similarly, Special Enforcement Effort funds enhance the fair housing enforcement activities of FHAP agencies. Details on the HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies receiving funding in this award are outlined below:

Connecticut: The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is receiving $17,176 to conduct research, partner with advocacy organizations to carry out education and outreach activities, and produce public service announcements on fair housing laws and COVID-19 related health disparities associated with where people live.

Indiana: The Indiana Civil Rights Commission is receiving $55,000 to conduct COVID-19 related fair housing tests and partner with four state agencies to develop and distribute COVID-19 related fair housing material. The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission is receiving $8,634.95 to purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment.

Iowa: The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is receiving $48,682 to partner with government agencies and organizations to provide COVID-19 related fair housing information to refugee communities adversely affected by the virus, and purchase office equipment and personal protective equipment for staff engaged in COVID-19 related fair housing activities.

Maine: The Maine Human Rights Commission is receiving $35,439 to collaborate with non-profit and faith-based organizations and stakeholders, and community and landlord groups to discuss COVID-19 related fair housing issues, and purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment.

Nebraska: The Lincoln Commission on Human Rights is receiving $20,302 to conduct fair housing tests related to COVID-19, hire an additional staff person and purchase technology that will allow the agency to operate in a 100-percent remote environment.

New York: The Westchester County Human Relations Commission is receiving $33,530 to fund the hiring of a fair housing investigator to assist with processing its backlog of cases and investigate COVID-19 related complaints.

North Carolina: The City of Durham Human Relations Division is receiving $3,862 to purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment.

Ohio: The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is receiving $37,245 to conduct remote interviews and purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment. The City of Dayton Human Relations Council is receiving $25,000 to develop an app and web-based platform relating to COVID-19 and fair housing and hire an additional staff person to conduct COVID-19 related outreach to faith-based and community organizations.

Tennessee: The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is receiving $48,423 to partner with Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Memphis area to produce COVID-19 related educational broadcasts, conduct a radio campaign educating citizens of their fair housing rights as they related to COVID-19, and purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment.

Texas: The Corpus Christi Human Relations Commission is receiving $29,525 to create an instructional video and web pages, conduct a social media campaign, and create a fair housing mailout related to COVID-19, and send texts informing citizens of their fair housing rights as they relate to COVID-19. The City of Austin Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office is receiving $8,862.78 to purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment.

Vermont: The Vermont Human Rights Commission is receiving $24,595 to produce COVID-19 related fair housing educational videos, conduct a social media campaign and produce radio and print ads informing citizens of their fair housing rights related to COVID-19, and purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment.

Washington: The Washington State Human Rights Commission is receiving $133,148 to hire additional staff to address the impact of COVID-19 related loss of capacity and purchase technology that will improve the agency’s ability to function in a 100-percent remote environment.

Source: HUD

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