Mean and Median Amounts of Monetary Relief: Pre- and Post-Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP)
|Program Phase||Weighted Mean*||Median*|
|Pre-FHAP (N = 58)||$530||$388|
|Post-FHAP (N = 41)||$982||$500|
|*Amounts are in 1983 constant dollars, adjusted by the Consumer Price Index.|
|Source: Case Record Abstract Forms.|
constant dollars, rose from $388 to $500 dollars from the pre- to post- FHAP periods.
During this same time period, the performance of HUD fair housing enforcement offices also improved. In four out of ten HUD regional offices studied, the percent of cases resolved in favor of the person complaining increased from 25 percent before 1980 to 43 percent after 1980. Cases in which some monetary settlement or a housing unit were provided also increased over the same time period from 44 to 60 percent. The amount of monetary awards increased in constant dollars from roughly $400 to over $1,300 during the period before and after 1980.
There has, therefore, been a measurable increase in the effectiveness of fair housing enforcement agencies over the last five years. Critics may argue that the increases are not great enough or that the sample of agencies missed many more lackluster agencies whose procedures are less ineffective. Still others may feel that federal courts provide better relief in terms of both injunctions and monetary settlements. Despite such arguments, it is clear that the capacity of federal, state, and local agencies to enforce fair housing laws has measurably increased.
Minority households continue to experience substantial levels of housing deprivation, segregation, and discrimination. Their housing conditions, although gradually improving in physical condition and the extent of crowding, are increasingly affected by the higher costs of renting or purchasing a home. Minorities in search of decent housing will have to pay more, as well as risk experiencing either subtle or direct forms of discrimination, in order to find a home comparable to that of whites. All too often the act of discrimination will remain unfelt and undetected. Different or fewer apartments and homes are shown to minorities but not to whites.
There is nothing especially new in this account of housing deprivation and discrimination. Economic factors and discrimination have long been