Housing Discrimination Complaints Hit a Record in 2006
Government agencies received 10,328 housing discrimination complaints during fiscal 2006, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week, which was the highest number ever filed in a single year.
Race and disability topped the list of reasons why individuals filed complaints.
The statistics were included in the department’s annual report on the state of fair housing, which is released every April in conjunction with Fair Housing Month. This marks the 39th anniversary of the Fair Housing Law.
Of the more than 10,000 complaints reported to HUD and state and local government agencies funded through its Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP), 40% alleged racial discrimination and almost the same percentage came from persons with disabilities. The complaints, according to the report, most often alleged discrimination in the terms and conditions of the sale or rental of housing, or refusal to rent.
The report includes summaries of several cases that HUD or FHAP agencies investigated during FY 2006. For example:
- A case that resulted in a $40,000 settlement for an African-American woman in Pennsylvania who was allegedly denied the opportunity to rent a house because of her race
- A case that resulted in a $7,500 settlement for a couple in Illinois that was allegedly denied the opportunity to rent an apartment because they had a child
- A case that resulted in a $15,000 settlement for a man with a disability in Hawaii who was allegedly denied permission to make structural modifications that he needed in order to use and enjoy his dwelling
The report also details HUD’s efforts to educate housing providers and the public about fair housing and increase the stock of accessible housing for persons with disabilities.