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WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development today 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.
“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. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is receiving $48,682 to partner with the Iowa Department of Human Rights, EMBARC, and the Genesis Youth Foundation 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. EMBARC is Iowa's first and only refugee-led service provider, and is a respected collective voice of different ethnic groups throughout the state. Genesis Youth Foundation was initially established to empower immigrant youth, and has since broadened its scope of services to assist families in navigating their numerous concerns that have arisen due to COVID-19.
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint of discrimination by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the Department using the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.