US Code Chapter 45 - Fair Housing -Subchapter I, Section 3616a

§ 3616a. Fair housing initiatives program

(a) In general
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (in this section referred to as the "Secretary") may make grants to, or (to the extent of amounts provided in appropriation Acts) enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, State or local governments or their agencies, public or private nonprofit organizations or formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices, to develop, implement, carry out, or coordinate -

(1) programs or activities designed to obtain enforcement of the rights granted by title VIII of the Act of April 11, 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.) (commonly referred to as the Civil Rights Act of 1968), or by State or local laws that provide rights and remedies for alleged discriminatory housing practices that are substantially equivalent to the rights and remedies provided in such title VIII, through such appropriate judicial or administrative proceedings (including informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion) as are available therefor; and

(2) education and outreach programs designed to inform the public concerning rights and obligations under the laws referred to in paragraph (1).

(b) Private enforcement initiatives

(1) In general
The Secretary shall use funds made available under this subsection to conduct, through contracts with private nonprofit fair housing enforcement organizations, investigations of violations of the rights granted under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), and such enforcement activities as appropriate to remedy such violations. The Secretary may enter into multiyear contracts and take such other action as is appropriate to enhance the effectiveness of such investigations and enforcement activities.

(2) Activities
The Secretary shall use funds made available under this subsection to conduct, through contracts with private nonprofit fair housing enforcement organizations, a range of investigative and enforcement activities designed to -

(A) carry out testing and other investigative activities in accordance with subsection (b)(1) of this section, including building the capacity for housing investigative activities in unserved or underserved areas;

(B) discover and remedy discrimination in the public and private real estate markets and real estate-related transactions, including, but not limited to, the making or purchasing of loans or the provision of other financial assistance sales and rentals of housing and housing advertising;

(C) carry out special projects, including the development of prototypes to respond to new or sophisticated forms of discrimination against persons protected under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.);

(D) provide technical assistance to local fair housing organizations, and assist in the formation and development of new fair housing organizations; and

(E) provide funds for the costs and expenses of litigation, including expert witness fees.

(c) Funding of fair housing organizations

(1) In general
The Secretary shall use funds made available under this section to enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with qualified fair housing enforcement organizations, other private nonprofit fair housing enforcement organizations, and nonprofit groups organizing to build their capacity to provide fair housing enforcement, for the purpose of supporting the continued development or implementation of initiatives which enforce the rights granted under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), as amended. Contracts or cooperative agreements may not provide more than 50 percent of the operating budget of the recipient organization for any one year.

(2) Capacity enhancement
The Secretary shall use funds made available under this section to help establish, organize, and build the capacity of fair housing enforcement organizations, particularly in those areas of the country which are currently underserved by fair housing enforcement organizations as well as those areas where large concentrations of protected classes exist. For purposes of meeting the objectives of this paragraph, the Secretary may enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with qualified fair housing enforcement organizations. The Secretary shall establish annual goals which reflect the national need for private fair housing enforcement organizations.

(d) Education and outreach

(1) In general
The Secretary, through contracts with one or more qualified fair housing enforcement organizations, other fair housing enforcement organizations, and other nonprofit organizations representing groups of persons protected under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), shall establish a national education and outreach program. The national program shall be designed to provide a centralized, coordinated effort for the development and dissemination of fair housing media products, including -

(A) public service announcements, both audio and video;

(B) television, radio and print advertisements;

(C) posters; and

(D) pamphlets and brochures. The Secretary shall designate a portion of the amounts provided in subsection (g)(4) of this section for a national program specifically for activities related to the annual national fair housing month. The Secretary shall encourage cooperation with real estate industry organizations in the national education and outreach program. The Secretary shall also encourage the dissemination of educational information and technical assistance to support compliance with the housing adaptability and accessibility guidelines contained in the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988.

(2) Regional and local programs
The Secretary, through contracts with fair housing enforcement organizations, other nonprofit organizations representing groups of persons protected under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), State and local agencies certified by the Secretary under section 810(f) of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3610(f)), or other public or private entities that are formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices, shall establish or support education and outreach programs at the regional and local levels.

(3) Community-based programs
The Secretary shall provide funding to fair housing organizations and other nonprofit organizations representing groups of persons protected under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, or other public or private entities that are formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices, to support community-based education and outreach activities, including school, church, and community presentations, conferences, and other educational activities.

(e) Program administration

(1) Not less than 30 days before providing a grant or entering into any contract or cooperative agreement to carry out activities authorized by this section, the Secretary shall submit notification of such proposed grant, contract, or cooperative agreement (including a description of the geographical distribution of such contracts) to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(2) Repealed. Pub. L. 104-66, title I, Sec. 1071(d), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 720.

(f) Regulations

(1) The Secretary shall issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(2) The Secretary shall, for use during the demonstration authorized in this section, establish guidelines for testing activities funded under the private enforcement initiative of the fair housing initiatives program. The purpose of such guidelines shall be to ensure that investigations in support of fair housing enforcement efforts described in subsection (a)(1) of this section shall develop credible and objective evidence of discriminatory housing practices. Such guidelines shall apply only to activities funded under this section, shall not be construed to limit or otherwise restrict the use of facts secured through testing not funded under this section in any legal proceeding under Federal fair housing laws, and shall not be used to restrict individuals or entities, including those participating in the fair housing initiatives program, from pursuing any right or remedy guaranteed by Federal law. Not later than 6 months after the end of the demonstration period authorized in this section, (FOOTNOTE 1) the Secretary shall submit to Congress the evaluation of the Secretary of the effectiveness of such guidelines in achieving the purposes of this section.

(FOOTNOTE 1) See References in Text note below.

(3) Such regulations shall include provisions governing applications for assistance under this section, and shall require each such application to contain -

(A) a description of the assisted activities proposed to be undertaken by the applicant, together with the estimated costs and schedule for completion of such activities;

(B) a description of the experience of the applicant in formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices;

(C) available information, including studies made by or available to the applicant, indicating the nature and extent of discriminatory housing practices occurring in the general location where the applicant proposes to conduct its assisted activities, and the relationship of such activities to such practices;

(D) an estimate of such other public or private resources as may be available to assist the proposed activities;

(E) a description of proposed procedures to be used by the applicant for monitoring conduct and evaluating results of the proposed activities; and

(F) any additional information required by the Secretary.

(4) Regulations issued under this subsection shall not become effective prior to the expiration of 90 days after the Secretary transmits such regulations, in the form such regulations are intended to be published, to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(5) The Secretary shall not obligate or expend any amount under this section before the effective date of the regulations required under this subsection.

(g) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the provisions of this section, (FOOTNOTE 2) $21,000,000 for fiscal year 1993 and $26,000,000 for fiscal year 1994, of which -

(FOOTNOTE 2) So in original. The comma probably should not appear.

(1) not less than $3,820,000 for fiscal year 1993 and $8,500,000 for fiscal year 1994 shall be for private enforcement initiatives authorized under subsection (b) of this section, divided equally between activities specified under subsection (b)(1) of this section and those specified under subsection (b)(2) of this section;

(2) not less than $2,230,000 for fiscal year 1993 and $8,500,000 for fiscal year 1994 shall be for qualified fair housing enforcement organizations authorized under subsection (c)(1) of this section;

(3) not less than $2,010,000 for fiscal year 1993 and $4,000,000 for fiscal year 1994 shall be for the creation of new fair housing enforcement organizations authorized under subsection (c)(2) of this section; and

(4) not less than $2,540,000 for fiscal year 1993 and $5,000,000 for fiscal year 1994 shall be for education and outreach programs authorized under subsection (d) of this section, to be divided equally between activities specified under subsection (d)(1) of this section and those specified under subsections (d)(2) and (d)(3) of this section. Any amount appropriated under this section shall remain available until expended.

(h) Qualified fair housing enforcement organization

(1) The term "qualified fair housing enforcement organization" means any organization that -

(A) is organized as a private, tax-exempt, nonprofit, charitable organization;

(B) has at least 2 years experience in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations and enforcement of meritorious claims; and

(C) is engaged in all the activities listed in paragraph (1)(B) at the time of application for assistance under this section. An organization which is not solely engaged in fair housing enforcement activities may qualify as a qualified fair housing enforcement organization, provided that the organization is actively engaged in each of the activities listed in subparagraph (B).

(2) The term "fair housing enforcement organization" means any organization that -

(A) meets the requirements specified in paragraph (1)(A);

(B) is currently engaged in the activities specified in paragraph (1)(B);

(C) upon the receipt of funds under this section will become engaged in all of the activities specified in paragraph (1)(B); and

(D) for purposes of funding under subsection (b) of this section, has at least 1 year of experience in the activities specified in paragraph (1)(B).

(i) Prohibition on use of funds
None of the funds authorized under this section may be used by the Secretary for purposes of settling claims, satisfying judgments or fulfilling court orders in any litigation action involving either the Department or housing providers funded by the Department. None of the funds authorized under this section may be used by the Department for administrative costs.

(j) Reporting requirements
Not later than 180 days after the close of each fiscal year in which assistance under this section is furnished, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Congress a comprehensive report which shall contain -

(1) a description of the progress made in accomplishing the objectives of this section;

(2) a summary of all the private enforcement activities carried out under this section and the use of such funds during the preceding fiscal year;

(3) a list of all fair housing enforcement organizations funded under this section during the preceding fiscal year, identified on a State-by-State basis;

(4) a summary of all education and outreach activities funded under this section and the use of such funds during the preceding fiscal year; and

(5) any findings, conclusions, or recommendations of the Secretary as a result of the funded activities.