Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity

 

The Fair Housing Act provides freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap and familial status in connection with the sale, rental, and financing of housing and other related activities. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits discrimination in credit transactions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract), because all or a part of the applicant's income is derived from a public assistance program, or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin and religion in places of public accommodation, which are defined to include hotels, motels, restaurants, gas stations, and places of entertainment. Title III prohibits the denial of equal protection rights in public facilities. Section 2 of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) prohibits local governments from significantly burdening the exercise of religion or discriminating against religious institutions in their land use and zoning decisions. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and civil protections in areas such as housing and credit for military personnel while they are on active duty.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
16.103
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Justice
Office: Civil Rights Division
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
PROVISION OF SPECIALIZED SERVICES
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2011: The Housing and Civil Enforcement Section's enforcement efforts continue to result in significant accomplishments. In fiscal year 2011, the Section filed a total of 28 pattern or practice complaints and obtained 46 consent decrees in pattern or practice cases. The Section continues its consistent efforts to enforce all aspects of the Fair Housing Act, to combat lending discrimination, to ensure non-discrimination in public accommodations and religious land use, and to enforce the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available
Authorization
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title II and Title III; Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, Title VIII, Public Law 90-284, Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Public Law 100-430, 42 U.S.C. 3601; Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, Public Law 93-495; Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1976, Public Law 94-239; 15 U.S.C. 1691; Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, Public Law 106-274, 42 U.S.C. 2000cc.; Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C App. 501.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
All persons.
Beneficiary Eligibility
All persons.
Credentials/Documentation
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Contact the headquarters office listed below.
Award Procedure
Not applicable.
Deadlines
Not Applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not Applicable.
Appeals
Not Applicable.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not Applicable.
How may assistance be used?
The Fair Housing Act, which is found in Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, is designed to ensure freedom from discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing, and other related activities. The Act provides two major avenues of enforcement by the Department. First, the Attorney General has independent authority to bring civil actions in federal courts whenever he/she has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination or when he/she has reasonable cause to believe any group has been denied such rights in a case of general public importance. Under its pattern or practice authority, the Department may seek appropriate injunctive relief, actual and punitive damages for any persons injured by the discrimination, and civil penalties of up to $55,000 against a defendant for the first violation and up to $110,000 for subsequent violations of the Act. Second, the Department also has authority to seek relief on behalf of individuals in certain circumstances, as follows. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is required to investigate and conciliate any complaint of housing discrimination filed with that agency. If it cannot be conciliated, HUD is authorized to file an administrative charge if it determines there is reasonable cause to believe the Fair Housing Act has been violated. At that point, either party may elect to have such charge heard in federal court, and if such election is made, the Department of Justice brings suit in federal court on behalf of the complainant and may seek actual and punitive damages in such an action. Aside from enforcement by the federal government, private suits alleging illegal discrimination may be filed in the appropriate federal or state court within two years of alleged discrimination. The ECOA, as amended, is designed to prohibit certain types of discrimination in all aspects of credit transactions. Persons who believe that they are victims of such discrimination may file complaints with one of the appropriate Federal regulatory agencies or may bring the information to the attention of the Attorney General. The Department of Justice is authorized to institute litigation in Federal court when a matter is referred to the Attorney General by an agency responsible for administrative enforcement of the Act or when he/she has reasonable cause to believe that one or more creditors are engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of the Act. The Act gives the United States authority to seek actual and punitive damages for any persons aggrieved by the discrimination. In addition, an aggrieved person may institute suit in a Federal court pursuant to the ECOA. Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is designed to prohibit discrimination in certain kinds of public accommodations. It gives the Attorney General authority to bring a legal action when he/she determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that any person or group is engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination which violates the provisions of Title II. Remedies available in such cases are limited to injunctive relief and the Department does not have authority to seek monetary relief. Private individuals also may bring legal action under Title II. In addition, there are other civil rights laws which give such individuals authority to take legal action against public accommodation discrimination not covered by Title II. Title III allows the Attorney General to file a civil action in federal district court after receiving a written complaint from an individual who alleges the denial of equal protection rights in a public facility, but is unable to initiate or maintain an independent action. 42 U.S.C. 2000b(a). The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, enacted in September 2000, prohibits state and local governments from using their authority to burden the exercise of religion, exclude religious assemblies from their jurisdictions, or discriminate against religious institutions. It gives the Attorney General the authority to seek injunctive or declaratory relief for violations of the Act. Private individuals may also bring actions under the statute. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and civil protections in areas such as housing and credit for military personnel while they are on active duty. It gives the Attorney General the authority to bring civil actions in federal courts whenever he/she has reasonable cause to believe that any person engaged in a pattern or practice of violating the Act or a violation of the Act that raises an issue of significant public importance. The Department may seek appropriate injunctive relief, monetary damages for any persons injured by the discrimination, and civil penalties of up to $55,000 against a defendant for the first violation and up to $110,000 for subsequent violations of the Act. Private individuals may also bring legal action under the statute.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Not Applicable.
Auditing
Not Applicable.
Records
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Not applicable.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing & Civil Enforcement Section, Washington, District of Columbia 20530 Phone: Telephone: (202) 514-4713.
Website Address
http://www.justice.gov/crt/housing/hcehome.php.
Financial Information
Account Identification
15-0128-0-1-752.
Obligations
(Salaries) FY 11 $12,901,135; FY 12 est $12,646,599; and FY 13 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.

 



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