The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is a left-of-center advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. designed to prevent and respond to housing discrimination. The NFHA engages in direct training about consumer and lender rights, political advocacy, and litigation under the Fair Housing Act. The NFHA has been involved in several lawsuits against lending companies in recent years and has strongly opposed the Trump administration’s housing policy reforms.
NFHA was founded in 1988 and remains the only national organization which focuses exclusively on ending housing discrimination through education, consulting services, community development, litigation, and public policy advocacy.  NFHA today includes more than 220 non-profit housing organizations, civil rights organizations, and individuals across the United States. 
National Fair Housing Alliance charges membership dues, but most of the organization’s revenue comes from government grants and other outside gifts, totaling $2,856,281 in 2016.  NFHA also generated $480,339 in “consulting fees” from its various educational programs, along with an additional $401,726 in a legal settlement. 
Notable contributors to NFHA include liberal foundations like the Foundation to Promote Open Society, the Ford Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) government worker labor union. 
According to data from USASpending.gov as of August 2020, NFHA has received $19.77 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since fiscal year 2008. Roughly 48 percent of that total was for HUD’s Education and Outreach Initiatives program.
Education and Community Development
National Fair Housing Alliance provides education and community development services, predominantly in low-income and ethnic minority neighborhoods. The NFHA runs a consumer outreach program to educate the public on housing rights, in addition to teaching consumers to recognize and report discrimination.  The program also teaches housing providers about their obligations under the law and benefits of fair housing programs.  Aside from direct educational programs, the NFHA distributes media materials to organizations and media outlets across the country. 
The NFHA has a large grant program for community development, partnering with several outside organizations to provide funding to stabilize communities that the NFHA determines have been harmed by discriminatory practices.  These grants go directly to families to assist in promoting diverse neighborhoods.  In 2013, the NFHA partnered with 13 fair housing centers and Wells Fargo bank to invest $27 million in grants to African American and Latino communities.  Grants were used to organize financial literacy and homeownership training workshops, prevent foreclosures, and repair and renovate units to make them accessible for disabled residents.  These funds were leveraged to invest another $17.3 million into communities across the country.  The group has also partnered with State Farm to promote homeownership and limit foreclosures.
In 2010, NFHA and Spanos, a house construction company, agreed that Spanos would retrofit 123 buildings to comply with Fair Housing Act requirements.  When Spanos was unable to renovate 31 of these buildings, it partnered with NFHA to create a National Accessibility Fund through which NFHA makes grants to local housing organizations. 
In addition to providing educational resources, the NFHA engages in activism on public housing policy and has taken several strong stances against Trump administration housing policy. The NFHA has also been involved in several lawsuits against large lenders in the past five years, including Fannie Mae and Bank of America
Most of NFHA’s advocacy is focused on expanding the Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968 to end racial discrimination in housing.  The NFHA works to expand the Fair Housing Act to prohibit housing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, and income source. 
NFHA has previously published policy agendas, which include initiatives to expand federal funding for investigations into housing discrimination allegations; pass legislation to federally prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, and income source; and pass measures to create standing systems to investigate alleged “systemic discrimination.” 
In 2018, NFHA published a report reviewing over 30,000 legal cases in housing discrimination on the anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.  The report alleged that the Trump administration’s housing policies exacerbated discrimination through two major federal policy shifts: the repeal of the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule and attempts to rollback disparate impact regulations. 
In October 2019, the Trump administration announced a plan which would shift the burden of proof in cases on housing discrimination onto plaintiffs, rather than defendants, repealing the “disparate impact” rule.  The plan would require plaintiffs to prove the defendant’s intent to discriminate before proceeding with the case, and the NFHA came out in strong opposition to it. 
Ben Carson, Trump administration Housing and Urban Development Secretary, argued prior to his time in office that programs like disparate impact rules promoted federal social engineering and should instead be replaced by effective zoning laws.  The NFHA report argued against this and promoted a large range of left-of-center policies to prevent housing discrimination, including enforcing Obama-era AFFH regulations, passing the Equality Act and Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2019 to increase the number of protected classes covered by the Fair Housing Act, and providing more federal funding for affordable housing. 
The NFHA uses litigation under the Fair Housing Act as a method of enforcement, taking action in recent years against some of the largest lenders in the United States.
In 2016, the NFHA sued Travelers Indemnity Company for refusing to provide landlords with commercial habitational insurance coverage when they rented to people using Section 8 vouchers.  Travelers Indemnity Company settled the lawsuit in 2018, paying $450,000 to NFHA and agreeing to not inquire about the source of income of residents at Washington, D.C. area properties it considers insuring.  Travelers made no admission of illegal action in settling the lawsuit. 
In 2016, the NFHA also led 20 local fair housing organizations in a lawsuit against Fannie Mae, accusing the lender of purposely neglecting to maintain its foreclosures in middle- to low-income African American and Latino neighborhoods to the same degree at which they maintained them in white neighborhoods, thereby discriminating against residents of color.  Fannie Mae moved to dismiss the case in August 2019, but a federal judge ruled that the lawsuit could move forward on allegations of intentional discrimination and violations of the Fair Housing Act.  The case is still in litigation as of November 2019.
In June 2018, NFHA launched another complaint along with nine local housing organizations against Bank of America, alleging that the bank had also failed to maintain properties in predominately African American and Latino communities, violating the Fair Housing Act.  Safeguard Properties Management, LLC was later added to the lawsuit.  In July 2019, a Maryland judge denied Bank of America and Safeguard’s motions to dismiss the case.  The case is still in litigation as of November 2019.
In 2018, the NFHA also filed a lawsuit against Facebook alongside other civil rights organizations, alleging that Facebook unlawfully allowed advertisers to target housing, employment, and credit ads to users on a discriminatory basis using information about their protected class statuses Facebook settled the claims in March 2019, changing the structure of Facebook advertising to prevent housing, employment, and credit advertisers from excluding or including specific protected classes from their advertising. 
Keenya Robertson serves as chair of the NFHA.  Robertson also serves as the president and CEO of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, a nonprofit which uses private fair housing enforcement strategies and education to increase affordable housing and limit housing discrimination.  
Lisa Rice serves as president and CEO of the NFHA.  Rice serves on the mortgage and consumer protection boards of several investment banks, including the JPMorgan Chase Consumer Advisory Council, the Freddie Mac Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and the Quicken Loans Advisory Committee.  Rice previously worked as CEO of the Toledo Fair Housing Center and the Northwest Ohio Development Agency.