CONGRESSWOMAN LEE OFFERS AMENDMENT TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) today offered an amendment in the House Appropriations Committee aimed to fight housing discrimination. Republicans included language in the annual housing funding bill (FY24 THUD Appropriations Bill) that would prevent the Biden Administration from effectively enforcing the Fair Housing Act. Rep. Lee’s amendment strikes the language blocking the Biden Administration’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule.
“Housing discrimination has long been one of the pillars of systemic racial and social injustice in our country,” said Rep. Lee. “It robs people of color of the wealth they earn. It traps Black and brown children in underfunded, sub-par schools. And it needlessly divides our communities and our country.”
The Biden administration has sought to strengthen fair housing enforcement with their “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule, and undo damage from the last administration, which sought to actively undermine fair housing enforcement. The Republican bill blocks the new fair housing rule, siding with unscrupulous lenders and corporations at the expense of renters and homeowners.
“The majority argues that fair housing rules “burden” local governments,” said Lee.“But I ask them—What about the burden on working families who cannot find a place to live because landlords think they look different? What about the burden on homeowners robbed of their hard-earned equity because of appraisal discrimination? What about the burden on disabled veterans and people who identify as LGBTQ+ who are denied fair housing?The Republican bill blocks all these people from getting a fair shake.”
- According to the National Fair Housing Alliance, of 31,216 fair housing complaints filed in 2021, 16,758 or 54 percent were cases of discrimination against a person with a disability.
- This disproportionately impacts our veterans and tribal communities:
- 30% of veterans have a disability; and
- 30% of American Indian/Alaska Native adults have a disability
- Cases of fair housing discrimination have also been rising – the most recent data from the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) indicates an 8.7% increase in housing discrimination complaints in 2021.
- The 2021 trends show the highest number of housing discrimination complaints since the organization first started collecting data 25 years ago.
- The second most reported type of housing discrimination in 2021 was based on race, making up 5,922 or 19 percent of all complaints. Additionally, NFHA data found that of all 2021 housing discrimination complains –
- 7.4 percent were on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), 7.2 percent were on the basis of familial status, 5.7% were on the basis of national origin, 2.4 percent were on the basis of color, and 1.2 percent were on the basis of religion.
National Fair Housing Alliance 2022 Fair Housing Trends Report: https://nationalfairhousing.org/resource/2022-fair-housing-trends-report/
13% of the total U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population has a disability https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2022/disabilities-act.html
2021 American Communities Survey Data: https://data.census.gov/table?t=Disability:Veterans&tid=ACSDT1Y2021.B21007