GEORGIA - The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced that the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity (GCEO) is joining their Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) as an Interim Certified agency. GCEO is a state agency under the auspices of the Office of the Governor, and proudly serves as the state’s only fair housing & equal employment enforcement agency. GCEO enforces the Georgia Fair Housing Law and the Georgia Fair Employment Practices Act.
HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) is comprised of state and local agencies whose primary functions are to administer laws that are substantially equivalent to the Fair Housing Act and provide rights and remedies to all residents of the state.
“We welcome the state of Georgia to the program, a state with a long history at the center of the national civil rights movement,” said Anna María Farías, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This partnership combines federal resources with local knowledge and enforcement capabilities, which will help ensure that residents of the state have equal access to available housing and economic opportunity.”
As an Interim Certified agency, GCEO will receive funding, training, and technical assistance from HUD for up to three years as it builds its capacity to conduct fair housing enforcement activities. HUD provides annual funding, training, and technical assistance to FHAP agencies on a noncompetitive basis. GCEO joins 77 agencies in the program that are located throughout the nation.
"GCEO is very pleased to renew our longstanding partnership with HUD. We have worked diligently for the past several years to regain our status as a HUD Certified agency beginning with the initial Interim Certification,” said Allona Lane Cross, GCEO’s Executive Director & Administrator. “GCEO’s partnership with HUD brings an abundance of federal resources to the state that will benefit all Georgians in need of our services.”
On August 3, 2020, Governor Brian P. Kemp signed HB 969 amending the Georgia Fair Housing Law to make it substantially equivalent to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which was the final requirement needed for GCEO to become an Interim Certified agency. “I would like to thank Governor Kemp, the Governor’s office staff, and the Attorney General’s office staff for their immense support and for ensuring GCEO had the resources needed to meet the final requirement,” said Allona Lane Cross, GCEO’s Executive Director & Administrator. “In addition, I would like to thank Representative Chuck Efstration, Senator Harold Jones, II, and Attorney Elizabeth Appley for all of their efforts and contributions with advancing the bill.”
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a Fair Housing complaint by contacting GCEO's Fair Housing Division at (800) 473-6736 or by visiting the GCEO website and utilizing our Fair Housing Online Services. Materials and assistance are available for persons with limited English proficiency.
The GCEO's mission is to safeguard Georgians from discrimination in housing and employment. More information about GCEO is available at https://gceo.georgia.gov/