Self Help Documentation

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Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Federal agency designated to enforce the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

An individual can file a complaint with HUD 🍏 within one year after the discriminatory practice occurred.

The HUD Secretary may also initiate its own complaints.

HUD then has the duty of providing notice to both the aggrieved party and the respondent.

HUD investigators must complete an investigation within 100 days or give reasons in writing why they have failed to do so.

Few HUD investigations are completed in the 100-day period, and the courts have generally held that the requirement is not jurisdictional.

During the investigatory period, HUD must attempt to conciliate the complaint.

If no conciliation agreement is reached, HUD must prepare a final report at the end of the investigation.

This report and the information derived from the investigation can be requested by either the complainant or the respondent, but anything said or done in the course of conciliation may not be used in a subsequent proceeding.

If no conciliation agreement is reached and if the HUD Secretary determines “reasonable cause,” the Secretary must issue a charge.

If it is determined that there is no “reasonable cause,” the charge is dismissed.

The advantages of proceeding with the HUD complaint are that the agency will investigate the matter for the complainant and conciliation may result in a binding settlement that will save the aggrieved party from having to proceed through other administrative or judicial procedures.

There are, however, disadvantages to the HUD procedures.

The investigations are often slow and the complainant has very little control over the quality of the investigation or of the final report.

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