NFHA Releases 2018 Fair Housing Trends Report
The National Fair Housing Alliance, a national organization dedicated to ending discrimination in housing, recently released its 2018 fair housing trends report, Making Every Neighborhood a Place of Opportunity, which outlines key obstacles to achieving the goals of the Fair Housing Act. The 2018 report assesses some of the progress that has been made, lays out the ways in which the Fair Housing Act has been undermined in recent years, and outlines some of the newer and emerging issues to be addressed. Here are some report highlights:
- More than half a million housing discrimination complaints have been processed since 1996, when NFHA first began collecting complaint data.
- Since 1991, more than 70,000 units of multifamily housing have been made accessible to persons with disabilities through litigation brought primarily by the U.S. Department of Justice and private, nonprofit fair housing organizations.
- 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.
- There were 28,843 complaints of housing discrimination in 2017.
- The three most common types of complaints in 2017 were based on disability (57 percent), race (19 percent), and family status (9 percent).
According to the organization, the biggest obstacle to fair housing rights is the federal government’s failure to enforce the law vigorously. The 28,843 reported housing discrimination complaints in 2017 was a slight increase from the 28,181 complaints reported in 2016. However, most of these complaints, about 71.3 percent, were handled by private, nonprofit fair housing organizations.
HUD, on the other hand, processed just 1,311 complaints, less than 5 percent of the total, according to the report. State and local governmental Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies processed 6,896 complaints, and the Department of Justice brought 41 cases.
While the total number of fair housing complaints increased in 2017, HUD and the FHAP processed fewer complaints than the 1,371 and 7,030 complaints reported in 2016, respectively. The number of complaints processed by the Justice Department increased by just one, up from 40 cases in 2016.