A survey reveals that African and Hispanic Americans overindex for mobile phone use -meaning they overwhelmingly use mobile devices for communication at a rate disproportionate to their population in the nation.
This group is also among those that are routinely subject to housing discrimination.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing announced an app that melds the two. Its free HUD Fair Housing app allows those who suspect they may have been a victim to housing discrimination to easily fill out a form and launch a complaint and investigation.
“Having this first fair housing mobile application equips people everywhere with the information they need to combat housing discrimination,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
“We are maximizing the latest technology to make the process for filing fair housing complaints faster and easier and arming our fair housing partners with the information they need to understand their fair housing rights and responsibilities.”
Upon download, users simply fill in their personal details and accounts of the alleged discrimination and with one click file the complaint. The app also describes the various types of discrimination covered by fair housing laws: disability, race, familial status, nationality, sex, religion or color.
“HUD needed an efficient and reliable solution to quickly extend existing capabilities to mobile computing devices,” said Marilyn Crouther, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. Public Sector, HP Enterprise Services. “The new HP application achieves operational goals of HUD – from concept to deployment – while more effectively addressing discrimination complaints. The mobile app simplifies and increases access to government services for people.”
The app also provides information about the fair housing complaint process, and allows the public to access HUD’s toll-free discrimination hotline and link to HUD’s fair housing website.
The new application allows citizens to easily access useful information regarding housing discrimination, file complaints with HUD and find regional contact information via their iPhone.