NAR sent a letter to the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee for HUD's FY2021 budget, requesting additional funding for fair housing and housing counseling. Specifically, NAR supports increases in Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to support private nonprofit enforcement of the Fair Housing Act (the Act), the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and increased salaries and expenses for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), the primary federal office charged with administration of the Act. We also support strong funding for HUD’s housing counseling program.
In January 2020, NAR launched its Fair Housing Action Plan (ACT!) in order to increase accountability, culture change, and training among the real estate profession. Increases in FHIP, FHAP and FHEO are consistent with this goal. In voicing its support for fair housing testing, NAR emphasizes that adequate funding must be made available to ensure testers are well trained, and adhere to the highest standards. Poorly-conducted tests unfairly tarnish our members and the reputations of the entire fair housing community.
The economic fallout of Covid-19 pandemic threatens the housing situation of so many Americans. As forbearance measures end, many homeowners may be struggling with their repayment plans. Housing counseling could be an effective tool to help them stay in their homes after the pandemic.
The House expects to finish work on the T-HUD budget bills before the August recess.