Group Fighting Housing Discrimination Gets HUD Grant

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(Host) A Vermont group that reviews cases of housing discrimination is getting a $325,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Vermont Legal Aid’s Housing Discrimination project will use the money to continue their review work. The program investigates claims of housing discrimination and helps represent people who say they’ve not been treated fairly when looking for housing.

Project Manager Rachel Batterson says housing discrimination is happening:

(Batterson) "The testing helps us to know how much is going on. It also supports litigation when there is a case of discrimination against a specific person. The other major role is education."

(Host) Batterson says in addition to racial discrimination, people with disabilities, children and those who’ve received housing assistance often have trouble renting apartments.  It is illegal for land-lords to refuse to rent to people for those reasons.

Last year, the project conducted 300 tests of housing discrimination and assisted 45 Vermonters with discrimination claims.

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