HUD Statement on Fair Housing and COVID-19
“Every year, April is the time we honor history’s fair housing heroes and celebrate our nation’s
civil rights progress. Though our national attention is now fiercely focused on overcoming the public
health threat of COVID-19, the principle and promise of Fair Housing for All must still guide us,” said
HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “There’s a fair housing hero in all of us…in the kindness and care toward a
vulnerable neighbor, in the compassion and empathy for those who have contracted the virus, in the
celebration of the tireless caregivers serving on the front line of the disease, and in the simple sacrifice
made by the rest of us to stay home, stay safe and slow the spread.”
During this national emergency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wants
to remind housing providers and the public at large of important federal fair housing laws that protect
persons from discrimination, including harassment and intimidation, in housing and related services on
the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. The Fair Housing Act
and other federal, state, and local laws collectively prohibit discrimination in nearly all housing
transactions and residential settings across the nation, including rental housing, nursing homes,
permanent shelters, and other places where people live and receive services together. Now, as always,
HUD is here to enforce federal fair housing laws and to ensure that housing and services are available
free from discrimination.
As the CDC has said, viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. Be aware that the Fair
Housing Act and other federal laws prohibit the eviction, turning away or harassment of a person in
housing because they are profiled, on the basis of race, national origin or other protected class, to be
associated with COVID-19. The Fair Housing Act also prohibits retaliation and intimidation against
persons who report acts of discrimination they have witnessed to law enforcement authorities, like
HUD, or who aid someone who has been the victim of discrimination.
There is much still to learn about COVID-19. We know, however, that persons with disabilities,
including those who are older and have underlying medical conditions, are vulnerable and at high risk
for a severe, life-threatening response to the virus. HUD recognizes that these persons may face unique
fair housing and civil rights issues in their housing and related services. Housing providers are required
to make reasonable accommodations that may be necessary to deliver housing and services to persons
with disabilities affecting major life activities.
We all must be vigilant to take protective measures recommended by public health officials to
prevent the spread of COVID-19, knowing that many individuals with COVID-19 show no symptoms and
have no awareness of exposure to the virus. Regardless of specific laws, now is not the time to evict
people from their homes. If a housing provider is concerned that a person has COVID-19 and may pose
a threat to the health or safety of others, the housing provider should set aside fear and speculation,
and rely on objective medical information and advice from public health officials to determine steps that
could mitigate or prevent the risk of transmission.
“The Fair Housing Act embodies the spirit of this great nation where everyone is entitled to
equal opportunity and respect,” said Secretary Carson. “We need to guard against the irrational blame
that fuels discrimination and harassment against people who, because of racial and ethnic profiling, are
perceived to be associated with this disease. We need to be attentive to the heightened protections
and needs of family, friends and neighbors who are older, have disabilities or pre-existing medical
conditions. We also need to honor and support, not evict out of fear, the medical professionals and
caregivers who selflessly go to the front line to serve and heal, and we must be creative and
compassionate to keep each other safely sheltered, healthy and prepared. Right now, in the spirit of fair
housing, we need to be the best neighbors we can be for one another.”
Persons who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint of
discrimination by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or
visiting How to File a Complaint on HUD’s website. Materials and assistance are available for persons
with limited English proficiency. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the
Department using the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339
Resident Board Meetings – Cancelled due to COVID-19. Updates will be posted.
Waiting Lists Open – The Heber Springs Housing Authority takes applications through our website only. Our waiting list never closes. To complete an application you must answer all the questions on the application. Confirmation of a successful application with start with the letter “A” and have six digits.
Arkansas Department of Health
The Center for Disease Control How to prevent the spread of COVID-19
(the coronavirusvirus disease)
Arkansas Department of Health – Local updates on Coronavirus
Residents are encouraged to participate in the Resident Board Meetings. For details please see the postings in the main office.
Board Meetings are open to the Public and will be recorded. Executive Session’s of Board Meetings are closed to the public. These are specific to personnel issues. Meetings to be posted in the main office.