Brooklyn Legal Services has been given $375,000 by the federal government to fight housing discrimination in the borough.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded a total of $47.4 million to 120 fair housing organizations across the country under its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), designed at ending discrimination in housing.

The grant will allow the Brooklyn Legal Services and other grantees to provide fair housing enforcement by conducting investigations, testing to identify discrimination in the rental and sales markets, and filing fair housing complaints with HUD.

Brooklyn Legal Services have specifically been allocated the funds to conduct intake and testing and investigate and litigate fair housing complaints under the Fair Housing Act. 

Grantees will also hold education and outreach activities to inform the public, housing providers, and local governments about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. 

HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Jeanine Worden said the fair housing groups’ HUD funds were a critical piece of combatting housing discrimination.

“The grants we’re announcing today will enable 120 fair housing groups to combat unfair evictions and other housing practices that violate the Fair Housing Act,” she added.

Stephen Murphy, HUD deputy regional administrator for New York and New Jersey, said New York residents buying a home, applying for a mortgage, or renting an apartment should know their rights and how these organizations can help them fight discrimination.

“HUD provides funding to fair housing organizations to ensure residents have equal access to housing.  New York tenants and homeowners who believe their rights have been violated should contact HUD’s New York Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at 1-800-496-4294 or send an e-mail to ComplaintsOffice02@hud.gov.”  

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