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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 31, 2014

Title 24: Housing and Urban Development


PART 125—FAIR HOUSING INITIATIVES PROGRAM


Contents
§125.103   Definitions.
§125.104   Program administration.
§125.105   Application requirements.
§125.106   Waivers.
§125.107   Testers.
§125.201   Administrative Enforcement Initiative.
§125.301   Education and Outreach Initiative.
§125.401   Private Enforcement Initiative.
§125.501   Fair Housing Organizations Initiative.

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 3535(d), 3616 note.

Source: 60 FR 58452, Nov. 27, 1995, unless otherwise noted.

§125.103   Definitions.

In addition to the definitions that appear at section 802 of title VIII (42 U.S.C. 3602), the following definitions apply to this part:

Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Expert witness means a person who testifies, or who would have testified but for a resolution of the case before a verdict is entered, and who qualifies as an expert witness under the rules of the court where the litigation funded by this part is brought.

Fair housing enforcement organization (FHO) means any organization, whether or not it is solely engaged in fair housing enforcement activities, that—

(1) Is organized as a private, tax-exempt, nonprofit, charitable organization;

(2) Is currently engaged in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations and enforcement of meritorious claims; and

(3) Upon the receipt of FHIP funds will continue to be engaged in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations and enforcement of meritorious claims.

The Department may request an organization to submit documentation to support its claimed status as an FHO.

FHIP means the Fair Housing Initiatives Program authorized by section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C. 3616 note).

Meritorious claims means enforcement activities by an organization that resulted in lawsuits, consent decrees, legal settlements, HUD and/or substantially equivalent agency (under 24 CFR 115.6) conciliations and organization initiated settlements with the outcome of monetary awards for compensatory and/or punitive damages to plaintiffs or complaining parties, or other affirmative relief, including the provision of housing.

Qualified fair housing enforcement organization (QFHO) means any organization, whether or not it is solely engaged in fair housing enforcement activities, that—

(1) Is organized as a private, tax-exempt, nonprofit, charitable organization;

(2) Has at least 2 years experience in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations and enforcement of meritorious claims; and

(3) Is engaged in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations and enforcement of meritorious claims at the time of application for FHIP assistance.

For the purpose of meeting the 2-year qualification period for the activities included in paragraph (2) of this definition, it is not necessary that the activities were conducted simultaneously, as long as each activity was conducted for 2 years. It is also not necessary for the activities to have been conducted for 2 consecutive or continuous years. An organization may aggregate its experience in each activity over the 3 year period preceding its application to meet the 2-year qualification period requirement.

The Department may request an organization to submit documentation to support its claimed status as a QFHO.

Title VIII means title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3600-3620), commonly cited as the Fair Housing Act.

[60 FR 58452, Nov. 27, 1995, as amended at 61 FR 5206, Feb. 9, 1996]

§125.104   Program administration.

(a) FHIP is administered by the Assistant Secretary.

(b) FHIP funding is made available under the following initiatives:

(1) The Administrative Enforcement Initiative;

(2) The Education and Outreach Initiative;

(3) The Private Enforcement Initiative; and

(4) The Fair Housing Organizations Initiative.

(c) FHIP funding is made available in accordance with the requirements of the authorizing statute (42 U.S.C. 3616 note), the regulation in this part, and Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs), and is awarded through a grant or other funding instrument.

(d) Notices of Funding Availability under this program will be published periodically in the Federal Register. Such notices will announce amounts available for award, eligible applicants, and eligible activities, and may limit funding to one or more of the Initiatives. Notices of Funding Availability will include the specific selection criteria for awards, and will indicate the relative weight of each criterion. The selection criteria announced in Notices of Funding Availability will be designed to permit the Department to target and respond to areas of concern, and to promote the purposes of the FHIP in an equitable and cost efficient manner.

(e) All recipients of FHIP funds must conform to reporting and record maintenance requirements determined appropriate by the Assistant Secretary. Each funding instrument will include provisions under which the Department may suspend, terminate or recapture funds if the recipient does not conform to these requirements.

(f) Recipients of FHIP funds may not use such funds for the payment of expenses in connection with litigation against the United States.

(g) All recipients of funds under this program must conduct audits in accordance with part 44 or part 45, as appropriate, of this title.

§125.105   Application requirements.

Each application for funding under the FHIP must contain the following information, which will be assessed against the specific selection criteria set forth in a Notice of Funding Availability.

(a) A description of the practice (or practices) that has affected adversely the achievement of the goal of fair housing, and that will be addressed by the applicant's proposed activities.

(b) A description of the specific activities proposed to be conducted with FHIP funds including the final product(s) and/or any reports to be produced; the cost of each activity proposed; and a schedule for completion of the proposed activities.

(c) A description of the applicant's experience in formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.

(d) An estimate of public or private resources that may be available to assist the proposed activities.

(e) A description of the procedures to be used for monitoring conduct and assessing results of the proposed activities.

(f) A description of the benefits that successful completion of the project will produce to enhance fair housing, and the indicators by which these benefits are to be measured.

(g) A description of the expected long term viability of project results.

(h) Any additional information that may be required by a Notice of Funding Availability published in the Federal Register.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2529-0033. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection displays a valid control number.)

§125.106   Waivers.

Upon determination of good cause, the Assistant Secretary may waive, in a published Notice of Funding Availability or other Federal Register notice, any requirement in this part that is not required by statute.

§125.107   Testers.

The following requirements apply to testing activities funded under the FHIP:

(a) Testers must not have prior felony convictions or convictions of crimes involving fraud or perjury.

(b) Testers must receive training or be experienced in testing procedures and techniques.

(c) Testers and the organizations conducting tests, and the employees and agents of these organizations may not:

(1) Have an economic interest in the outcome of the test, without prejudice to the right of any person or entity to recover damages for any cognizable injury;

(2) Be a relative of any party in a case;

(3) Have had any employment or other affiliation, within one year, with the person or organization to be tested; or

(4) Be a licensed competitor of the person or organization to be tested in the listing, rental, sale, or financing of real estate.

§125.201   Administrative Enforcement Initiative.

The Administrative Enforcement Initiative provides funding to State and local fair housing agencies administering fair housing laws recognized by the Assistant Secretary under §115.6 of this subchapter as providing rights and remedies which are substantially equivalent to those provided in title VIII.

§125.301   Education and Outreach Initiative.

(a) The Education and Outreach Initiative provides funding for the purpose of developing, implementing, carrying out, or coordinating education and outreach programs designed to inform members of the public concerning their rights and obligations under the provisions of fair housing laws.

(b) Notices of Funding Availability published for the FHIP may divide Education and Outreach Initiative funding into separate competitions for each of the separate types of programs (i.e., national, regional and/or local, community-based) eligible under this Initiative.

(c) National program applications, including those for Fair Housing Month funding, may be eligible to receive, as provided for in Notices of Funding Availability published in the Federal Register, a preference consisting of additional points if they:

(1) Demonstrate cooperation with real estate industry organizations; and/or

(2) Provide for the dissemination of educational information and technical assistance to support compliance with the housing adaptability and accessibility guidelines contained in the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.

(d) Activities that are regional are activities that are implemented in adjoining States or two or more units of general local government within a state. Activities that are local are activities whose implementation is limited to a single unit of general local government, meaning a city, town, township, county, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State. Activities that are community-based in scope are those which are primarily focused on a particular neighborhood area within a unit of general local government.

(e) Each non-governmental recipient of regional, local, or community-based funding for activities located within the jurisdiction of a State or local enforcement agency or agencies administering a substantially equivalent (under part 115 of this subchapter) fair housing law must consult with the agency or agencies to coordinate activities funded under FHIP.

§125.401   Private Enforcement Initiative.

(a) The Private Enforcement Initiative provides funding on a single-year or multi-year basis, to investigate violations and obtain enforcement of the rights granted under the Fair Housing Act or State or local laws that provide rights and remedies for discriminatory housing practices that are substantially equivalent to the rights and remedies provided in the Fair Housing Act. Multi-year funding may be contingent upon annual performance reviews and annual appropriations.

(b) Organizations that are eligible to receive assistance under the Private Enforcement Initiative are:

(1) Qualified fair housing enforcement organizations.

(2) Fair housing enforcement organizations with at least 1 year of experience in complaint intake, complaint investigation, testing for fair housing violations and enforcement of meritorious claims. For the purpose of meeting this 1 year qualification period, it is not necessary that the activities were conducted simultaneously, as long as each activity was conducted for 1 year. It is also not necessary for the activities to have been conducted for a continuous year. An organization may aggregate its experience in each activity over the 2-year period preceding its application to meet this 1 year qualification period requirement.

§125.501   Fair Housing Organizations Initiative.

(a) The Fair Housing Organizations Initiative of the FHIP provides funding to develop or expand the ability of existing eligible organizations to provide fair housing enforcement, and to establish, on a single-year or multi-year basis contingent upon annual performance reviews and annual appropriations, new fair housing enforcement organizations.

(b) Continued development of existing organizations—(1) Eligible applicants. Eligible for funding under this component of the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative are:

(i) Qualified fair housing enforcement organizations;

(ii) Fair housing enforcement organizations; and

(iii) Nonprofit groups organizing to build their capacity to provide fair housing enforcement.

(2) Operating budget limitation. (i) Funding under this component of the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative may not be used to provide more than 50 percent of the operating budget of a recipient organization for any one year.

(ii) For purposes of the limitation in this paragraph, operating budget means the applicant's total planned budget expenditures from all sources, including the value of in-kind and monetary contributions, in the year for which funding is sought.

(c) Establishing new organizations—(1) Eligible applicants. Eligible for funding under this component of the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative are:

(i) Qualified fair housing enforcement organizations;

(ii) Fair housing enforcement organizations; and

(iii) Organizations with at least three years of experience in complaint intake, complaint investigation, and enforcement of meritorious claims involving the use of testing evidence.

(2) Targeted areas. FHIP Notices of Funding Availability may identify target areas of the country that may receive priority for funding under this component of the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative. An applicant may also seek funding to establish a new organization in a locality not identified as a target area, but in such a case, the applicant must submit sufficient evidence to establish the proposed area as being currently underserved by fair housing enforcement organizations or as containing large concentrations of protected classes.



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