Affordable Housing, Community Development, Reports and Publications

Fair Housing Group Issues Trends Report


The National Fair Housing Alliance recently released its 2012 Fair Housing Trends Report. The report shows that 44% of the 2011 complaint filings were due to discrimination against people with disabilities. 20% of the cases were filed for racial discrimination, familial status accounted for 13% of the cases and national origin and gender each accounted for 5% of the cases.

In 2011 there were a total of 27,092 complaints filed with NFHA, Fair Housing Assistance Program, U.S Dept of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice, down from 28,800 in 2010 and 30,200 in 2009. However, many cases of discrimination go unreported so this number does not reflect a true count of housing discrimination. Additionally, NFHA received a number of complaints for classes of persons not currently protected by the Fair Housing Act, such as source of income, age discrimination, sexual orientation, and marital status.

Enforcement of the Fair Housing Act by the DOJ increased in 2011. The Justice Department’s Housing and Civil Enforcement section obtained consent decrees in 60 cases, up from 42 in 2010, including 46 pattern or practice cases, up from 26 in 2010. The DOJ filed 41 cases in 2011, 37% more than 2010. DOJ also filed a number of discriminatory lending and local government land use action cases.  A few key cases include:

  • United States v. Country wide Financial Corporation where Countrywide Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries reached a settlement with the US government for $335 million for discriminatory practices that steered Latino and African-American borrows who qualified for prime-rate mortgages into subprime loans while steering non-Hispanic white borrows into prime-rate loans.
  • United States v. Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp is the first discrimination case involving sex and familial status discrimination in mortgage insurance.  The DOJ is currently suing the mortgage insurer for requiring women on maternity leave to return work before the company would insure their mortgages.

In 2011 private non-profit fair housing organizations investigated 65% of the 27,092 housing discrimination complaints filed.  More could have been done except one fifth of all private fair housing nonprofits have been forced to shut down in the past few years due to lack of funding. Housing discrimination is still a large issue and more funding is necessary to meet the issue head on.

For a summary of the report, click here 
The full report is available here


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