NFHA Releases Annual Fair Housing Trends Report
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) recently released its annual report on fair housing trends. The report, entitled “The Case for Fair Housing: 2017 Fair Housing Trends Report,” includes the most recent data on reported instances of housing discrimination across the country. Every year, the NFHA compiles data from a comprehensive set of fair housing organizations and government agencies to provide a snapshot of what housing discrimination looks like today. Some of the highlights from the 2016 data include the following data points:
- There were 28,181 reported complaints of housing discrimination in 2016. Of these, private fair housing organizations were responsible for addressing 70 percent, the lion’s share of all housing discrimination complaints nationwide.
- 55 percent of these complaints involved discrimination on the basis of disability, followed by 19.6 percent based on racial discrimination and 8.5 percent based on discrimination against families with kids.
- 91.5 percent of all acts of housing discrimination reported in 2016 occurred during rental transactions.
The NFHA provided the following recommendations to better tackle housing discrimination, address segregation, and work towards a more inclusive society:
- Congress and the federal government must significantly increase the level of funding for private fair housing organizations, HUD, and public enforcement agencies at the state and local level to support a large sustained effort to support existing and create additional fair housing organizations, foster systemic approaches to eliminating segregation, and address governmental and institutional barriers at local levels.
- Create an independent fair housing agency or reform HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. A strong, independent fair housing agency could more effectively address discrimination and segregation throughout the United States. In the absence of such an organization, HUD should be restructured so that the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity plays a more meaningful role and functions effectively in its many important responsibilities.
- Strengthen the Fair Housing Initiatives Program to support qualified, full-service nonprofit fair housing centers that provide the bulk of fair housing education and enforcement services to our nation. This includes funding the program at a minimum level of $52 million.
- Effectively implement the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule and hold grantees accountable to break down barriers to opportunity and ensure that all communities are inclusive and that individuals have access to the opportunities they need to flourish.
- Reestablish the President’s Fair Housing Council to establish a multidisciplinary approach well suited to addressing the policies and systems that have a discriminatory impact, perpetuating entrenched patterns of metropolitan segregation.