The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Friday awarded more than $4 million to seven Bay Area fair housing organizations to help local residents who have been victims of housing discrimination, agency officials said.
Grants ranging from $168,000 to $325,000 were awarded to fair housing organizations in San Francisco, Oakland, San Rafael and Napa, according to the national housing and development department, or HUD.
"We are pleased to provide the only federal grant support to private fair housing enforcement and education," said John Trasvina, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity.
The competitive grants are part of more than $41 million divvied up among 99 fair housing organizations nationwide through HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program.
The grant money will be used to enforce the Fair Housing Act by investigating reported discriminatory housing practices and to educate local governments, housing providers and possible victims of housing discrimination about their rights under the act.
Housing discrimination based on a home renter or buyer's race, color, national origin, sex, disability, family status or religion is illegal and is grounds for a fair housing complaint, according to HUD.