New Jersey activists file fair housing violation and win

Aug 26, 2021

About fair housing violations 

The Fair Housing Act of the United States prohibits discrimination in selling or renting housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. For more information about Fair Housing, see this page on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website. 

About the fair housing violation filed in New Jersey 

Anyone can file a complaint under the Fair Housing Act. In New Jersey, the Latino Action Network, Fair Share Housing Center (FHSC), and the New Jersey National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a complaint against the State of New Jersey, alleging that the state violated civil rights laws in the administration of its Superstorm Sandy recovery program. This case ended in a 2014 settlement between the State of New Jersey and the activist groups. 

Impact on frontline communities  

The settlement from 2014 requires the following

  • The State to target $240 million in additional funds to the communities hardest hit by the storm, with an emphasis on serving low-income renters 

  • Immediate steps to address language barriers that had prevented many Sandy survivors from participating in the recovery programs. 

  • The State adds supplemental funding of $215 million to its principle program to build replacement units for households displaced by the storm. 

  • An additional $15 million for immediate help for renters who are still displaced from Sandy and $10 million for mobile homeowners. 

  • Automatic re-review for all applicants rejected from Homeowner Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program.  

  • The State provides equal access to non-English speakers for all programs funded with HUD's disaster recovery funds and builds a bilingual website for all programs.