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Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP)

Provides funding to State and local agencies that enforce fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act.

Nature of Program: Assists state and local agencies that administer fair housing laws certified by HUD as "substantially equivalent" to the Fair Housing Act or Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended. This assistance includes support for complaint processing, training, technical assistance, data and information systems, and other fair housing projects. The program is designed to build coordinated intergovernmental enforcement of fair housing laws and provide incentives for states and localities to assume a greater share of the responsibility for administering fair housing laws.

For a state or local law to be certified as "substantially equivalent," the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity must determine that it provides substantive rights, procedures, remedies, and the availability of judicial review comparable to the federal law. In addition, the agency's performance must meet specific criteria established under the Fair Housing Act and the regulations set forth at 24 CFR part 115.

Substantial equivalence certification presents numerous advantages to State and local governments, parties to housing discrimination complaints and the general public. The advantages include funding availability, local complaint processing under a substantially equivalent law, and opportunities for partnership that affirmatively further fair housing.

Applicant Eligibility: Only governmental entities are eligible to participate in the FHAP. Participating agencies must (1) administer a state or local law certified as "substantially equivalent" and (2) execute a written "Interim Agreement" or "Memorandum of Understanding" with HUD, describing the working relationship between the agency and the appropriate HUD Regional Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Legal Authority: Fair Housing Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.). Regulations are at 24 CFR part 115.

Administering Office: Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410-2000.

Information Sources: Administering office; Office of Enforcement, FHAP Division. On the Web

Current Status: Active.