Facebook Among Targets of HUD's Latest Round of Fair Housing Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking on one big fish and a few little fish in the battle against housing discrimination.

2 minute read

August 22, 2018, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Maglara / Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a slew of fair housing actions, just a few days after announcing it would rewrite the Affirmatively Furthering Act, a key tool for created by the Obama administration enforcing the Fair Housing Act.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson promoted the announcements via Twitter, saying the actions are a part of the department's commitment against housing discrimination.

The actions would seem to counter complaints that HUD is doing very little to enforce fair housing enforcement.  

Among the five press releases published between Friday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 21, comes news that HUD has filed a complaint against Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act by allowing landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination.

"In addition, today the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) filed a statement of interest, joined in by HUD, in U.S. District Court on behalf of a number of private litigants challenging Facebook's advertising platform," according to the press release. The National Fair Housing Association; the Fair Housing Justice Center of New York City; the Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc. in Miami; and the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio filed a lawsuit against Facebook in March.

HUD also charged owners of an apartment complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a property owner in Granby, Massachusetts, and a homeowner in Beltrami County, Minnesota, with various forms of discrimination. The announcement also include a Conciliation/Voluntary Compliance Agreement with Christian Church Homes and Garfield Park Village, LP, in Oakland and Santa Cruz, California.

Another announcement not included in Secretary Carson's Twitter message details a new HUD task force "to encourage more landlords to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program." More coverage on the task force is available in an article by Katie Pyzyk. Although vouchers aren't directly related to fair housing enforcement, vouchers still create opportunities for landlords to discriminate, as reported in a new study by the Urban Institute and detailed in an article by Andrea Riquier.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

View of Interstate 205 bridge over Columbia River with Mt. Hood in background.

The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project

The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.

September 19, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A derelict sign on a barbed wire fence reads “Golf Course, Private, No Admittance.”

Converting Golf Courses to Housing Never as Easy as the Market Would Like

Thousands of golf courses have closed in recent years, but the obvious redevelopment opportunity represented by many defunct courses isn’t always easy to realize.

September 19, 2023 - The Business Journals

Close-up of red Houston BCycle bike share bikes parked at a station

Houston To End Bike Share Program

Lacking the funding it needs to continue, Houston’s BCycle bike share system will end operations in the coming months.

September 18, 2023 - Houston Chronicle

Close-up of Unalakleet, Alaska on map.

FTA Announces Tribal Transit Program Grants

The agency awarded close to $10 million to 22 communities around the country for transit improvements.

1 hour ago - Mass Transit

View from inside glass top floor of Amtrak passenger train with Rocky Mountains scenery outside.

Making Colorado’s Front Range Rail a Reality

Local leaders are scrambling to bring together the funding and political support to create new intercity rail service in the fast-growing region.

2 hours ago - Governing

Students walking on sunny walkway on college campus.

How College Campuses Fulfill an Urbanist Dream

Most college campuses in the United States are inherently walkable, mixing various uses with diverse housing options and transit networks.

3 hours ago - The Daily

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.