April is the month of the Home Equity

By Sandy Flores

Instructor in Real Estate

The month of April is considered the month of the home equity. 

One focus for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to provide assistance to consumers and protect them from discrimination in housing. HUD has programs to prevent discrimination in housing and these are administered by the Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, known in by its acronym FHEO.

FHEO investigates and resolves complaints about housing discrimination and acts as mediator investigating complaints from people who have been affected and reaches to take legal action in your name in case it was not possible to reach a court settlement.  FHEO also conducts large-scale testing of audits rental markets and real and roots throughout the country to identify profiles of housing discrimination.  FHEO, in partnership with other state agencies, fair housing, sends examiners from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, also families with children and people with physical disabilities to pose as potential renters or home buyers so they can identify discrimination . Examiners come in both in pairs and by themselves to find out about housing.  They ask the same questions and then record the answers on a form of FHEO.  Examiners are trying to see if it would be determined that there is considerable profile housing discrimination, FHEO works with the Nation attorney general to file a lawsuit against the owner.

FHEO also conducts compliance reviews of housing financed by the federal government and ensures that HUD provides equal opportunity in its programs.  FHEO funded public education programs and outreach to educate the public about what is housing discrimination and educate the housing industry to comply voluntarily with the laws on fair housing,

HUD assistance program for Fair Housing (FHAP) assists both local governments and the state to establish these programs and their implementation. His program of initiatives Fair Housing (FIP) finances public agencies and private nonprofit organizations to assist HUD in performing these projects including compliance reviews, investigating and resolving complaints.

In some areas, state and / or local laws may take precedence in cases of housing discrimination. If a complaint of housing discrimination occurs in a community with the same laws of or even harsher HUD, the federal agency directs the complaint to the local agency to investigate. Complainant is notified of the transfer and is informed that if the local agency does not begin to process the complaint within 30 days, HUD may take up the case.

Call HUD if you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination. Prepare your complaint describing it in a letter or writing down the information you will need to speak with a representative of HUD. Be prepared to give your name and address, the name and address of the person against whom the complaint, address the housing reference, a brief description of how you would violate its rights and believed the incident date. In addition to contacting HUD, you can also check with the state government that is responsible for investigating discrimination in housing and private groups dedicated to fair housing agencies.

Use this information as a guide only. Data were extracted from educational publications featuring Consumer Action. For more information about housing discrimination or to file a complaint, call HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or visit the website at www.hud.gov .

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