In 1986, Metro-Dade County’s Equal Opportunity Board (formerly the Fair Housing and Appeals Board), who had the responsibility for processing employment and fair housing complaints of discrimination, formed a partnership with the Miami Herald to complete a testing survey to determine the reason for the large number of housing discrimination complaints received by the Fair Housing and Appeals Board. The testing results showed a high incidence of differential treatment for Blacks who attempted to rent housing in Miami-Dade County. Metro-Dade County’s Equal Opportunity Board (formerly the Fair Housing and Appeals Board) submitted a proposal to U.S. HUD to establish a non-profit Fair Housing Agency to assist in handling the housing discrimination workload in Miami-Dade County.
HOPE, Inc. was established as the result of a grant from U.S. HUD, in October of 1988 to Metro-Dade County’s Equal Opportunity Board (formerly the Fair Housing and Appeals Board). HOPE, Inc. is the first, non-profit fair housing agency organized in the state of Florida and has been; responsible for bringing fair housing discriminatory issues out of the hidden corners of the housing industry. HOPE, Inc.’s mission is to fight housing discrimination in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and to ensure equal housing opportunities throughout Florida.
HOPE, Inc. is the only non-profit fair housing organization in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties currently engaged in testing for fair housing law violations, pursuing enforcement of meritorious claims, conducting fair housing education and outreach, and administering relocation and mobility counseling programs designed to prevent and eliminate discriminatory housing practices. HOPE, Inc.’s counseling and referral services have handled inquiries related to a myriad of housing concerns not limited to complaints of housing discrimination. The agency has also responded to issues involving fair lending, affordable housing, landlord/tenant disputes, and home-buyer qualification concerns.
HOPE, Inc. has been an effective catalyst in fair housing education and outreach and the investigation and preparation of housing discrimination complaints for resolution or litigation. HOPE, Inc. has received funding under the US HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program since 1992. Since the initial FHIP grant, HOPE, Inc. has increased its enforcement and outreach activities, growing from being a testing agency to a fully operational fair housing agency. This agency, through its expanded outreach efforts, has been able to provide extensive counseling and referral services to members of protected classes who are, denied access to the housing of their choice through contracts with more than twenty south Florida Entitlement Jurisdictions.