In today’s tech savvy world, residents can access most services and information with the download of an application. The ease and accessibility of an application allows one to take care of an issue and gain information while riding the train to work or on a lunch break. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognizes the benefits of mobile apps and recently created the “Housing Discrimination Complaint Application” to file housing discrimination complaints. The fair housing app is available for free in the App Store for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. One can find the Housing Discrimination Complaint Application by searching for “fair housing” in the App Store.
Housing discrimination is an issue that impacts all 50 states. The app is convenient since it is the same process for every state and no matter where one is or where possible discrimination has taken place, residents can file a discrimination claim with HUD. There is no cost to filing a complaint through this app and it can either be filed individually or through community groups. Once the complaint is filled, a representative from HUD Fair Housing Specialist will contact both parties and take initial phone interviews. The HUD Fair Housing Specialist determines whether the matter is jurisdictional for HUD or not. If the complaint is within HUD’s jurisdiction, they will take the investigation further and file the necessary complaints. However, if the HUD representative determines the case is not housing discrimination, the case is closed.
The application is very user friendly. There are seven sub-categories upon opening the application. Options include filing a complaint, learning about the process of filing, information on the rights protected in the Fair Housing act, and information about other ways that HUD helps residents. Before filing a complaint, HUD provides a list of questions that determines if one should proceed with filing the claim. The Fair Housing App also reminds the filer that no personal information will be stored from this app to the application, but if for some reason the user leaves the form, their information will be stored for a short period of time so that it is available to the filer when they return to the application.
The convenience and user friendliness of the application is what makes this so great. The Fair Housing App allows one to file on the go and understand the rights protected under the Fair Housing Act. Unfortunately, this application is not available for androids at this time. However, if one needs to file a complaint and does not have access to an Apple product, go to the HUD website to download a complaint form. The HUD website also has a plethora of pages filled with indispensable information.
For more information about HUD:
By Kathryn Miner, Fair Housing Intern