In a press release issued at the end of last month, HUD announced that it awarded another $1.2 million to combat housing discrimination. The grants, sent to 11 different organizations around the country, are tax dollars used to “educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.” Fair enough.
While that is not wrong, it is also money used to fund fair housing testers to seek out what are then claimed to be discriminatory policies or conduct. My concern is that while the professional apartment management community absolutely supports fair housing and works to get it right, I am troubled by someone surfing the internet and looking to create a violation (and be awarded legal fees and costs) as contrasted with a legitimate effort to locate housing that is blocked because of unlawful conduct. I see a real difference there. Hope you do as well.
These grants by HUD, of course, are yet another reason for leasing offices and property management teams to document our contacts in writing (guest cards, contact cards, email, or any other way) and do our best to ensure all inquiries are handled in an appropriate and professional manner. We can never be sure which visit is a legitimate home seeker and/or which call is a from a tester, not telling you the truth about interest in your property, but someone seeking to build a discrimination complaint against you.
Just A Thought.