No one in the professional apartment management business supports housing discrimination. We support the federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) as well as the many similar state statutes and regulations. We train our employees to both follow the letter and spirit of the law.

We are in the business of leasing quality apartment homes to all applicants who meet the non-discriminatory resident selection criteria for a particular property. In addition to being against the law, our management teams are evaluated and compensated (at least in part) on obtaining the highest possible occupancy percentage they can. In other words, in addition to being against the law, discriminating against otherwise qualified applicants would cost property management staff money. Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) staff (as well as the staffs at various state, county, and city agencies) monitor our work and investigate allegations of discrimination.


To illustrate, in fiscal year 2008, there were 470 HUD employees in regional and field offices as well as 113 employees in HUD’s headquarters. As such, HUD’s fair housing staff last year was just under 600 employees.


HUD’s fair housing budget for salaries and expenses last year was just under $67 million dollars. Additionally, HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) – which is a made up of state and local government agencies tasked to investigate allegations of housing discrimination – grants totaled over $25 million in fiscal 2008. The budget for HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) – which was created to increase compliance with the FHA through the use of private enforcement and educational activities – was another $24 million last year. 


In short, HUD spent over $116 million investigating housing discrimination last year. HUD’s budget for its Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity has generally increased over the years. I see no change in 2009 going forward. 


We need to follow the law and get it right when dealing with our residents and applicants. If we don’t, then the knock on the door will be a fair housing investigator. And then you may really need to call me. 


Just A Thought.