HACKENSACK, N.J. — Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey, based in Hackensack, is one of dozens of fair housing organizations in the country who will benefit from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) $40.8 million reward to help these organizations in their ongoing pledge to end housing discrimination.
According to a press release from HUD dated June 30, Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey will receive $360,000 of $845,000 earmarked for the Garden State behind Citizen Action of New Jersey and the Citizen Action Fund, Inc., both in Newark, set to receive $125,000 and $360,000, respectively. New Jersey Citizen Action a statewide grassroots organization that fights for social, racial and economic justice.
The Fair Housing Council in Hackensack, for over 60 years, has worked to ensure that all who seek housing have an equal opportunity to rent, purchase, finance and insure the property of their choosing.
The funds are being provided via the Department’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to assist people who have been victims of housing discrimination and educate housing providers about fair housing laws. According to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the grant’s provision of resources is reflective of its mission to provide “safe, fair, and affordable housing.” Specifically, the grants allow the groups to provide fair housing enforcement through testing in the rental and sales market to file fair housing complaints to HUD and conduct investigations.
“Nothing is more offensive than being denied a place to live due to discrimination,” said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. "Since day one, this administration has provided the critical funding necessary to eradicate housing discrimination. FHIP funding is essential because it provides HUD partners the enforcement resources they need to take down key offenders and ensure they never operate in this industry again.”
FHIP grants are provided under the following three categories:
Private Enforcement Initiative grants — These awards help nonprofit fair housing enforcement organizations carry out investigations and other enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices;
Education and Outreach Initiative grants — HUD awards these grants to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under federal law or state and local fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act; and
Fair Housing Organizations Initiative grants— HUD awards these grants to help build the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations to continue and enhance enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at 800-669-9777 (voice) or 800-927-9275 (TTY).
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available online at hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.