Report calls for tougher enforcement of Fair Housing Act

NFHA says mortgage lender discrimination has cost industry $1bn

Report calls for tougher enforcement of Fair Housing Act

It’s been half a century since the US Fair Housing Act was introduced and the laws are being assessed for their effectiveness.

The National Fair Housing Alliance is one organization that has been looking back at how the laws have helped progress fair housing and where it has failed.

It concludes that the Act has the ability to create fair housing but blames housing policies; ineffective enforcement by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Justice (DOJ); and inadequate allocation of resources to public and private fair housing programs at all levels.

“This is a pivotal year for fair housing. As the 2018 Trends Report shows, we must put an end to the many institutionalized barriers that prevent too many families in this country from fair access to housing,” says NFHA president and CEO Lisa Rice. “We must commit to making every neighborhood a place of opportunity for its residents and to making all communities open to all people, regardless of race, national origin, disability, or other protected status.”

She added that the inequalities in housing are hampering the development of a thriving society.

Mortgage lenders paid out $1 billion since 2018
The report shows that there were 28,843 complaints of housing discrimination in 2017, up slightly from 2016. Most were in relation to discrimination based on disability, race, or family status.

The report says that since 1988, dozens of cases alleging redlining and discrimination by mortgage lenders have resulted in close to $1 billion in compensation to victims of mortgage lending discrimination and for investment in communities.