affirmatively further fair housing
Grantees of certain HUD programs are required to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH) in their housing and community development activities. Under the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing final rule, issued by HUD in July 2015, HUD grantees are required to prepare an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) for their jurisdictions. The AFH, which replaces the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) required under the previous AFFH rule, is designed to allow grantees to more effectively and efficiently plan for meeting their fair housing obligations.
For state and local governments, effective fair housing planning is more important than ever in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision on Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. With this decision, the Supreme Court upheld the theory that housing-related activities can violate the Fair Housing Act if they have a “disparate impact” on protected groups (such as racial and ethnic minorities, families, and people with disabilities), even if intentional discrimination is not occurring.
The Florida Housing Coalition is available to assist local governments and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) with fair housing planning. The Coalition has been ahead of the curve, helping HUD grantees devise goals to expand fair housing choice with innovative land use tools even before HUD issued the AFFH final rule. For grantees that will not be required to submit their first Assessment of Fair Housing for several years, we are able to prepare a “hybrid” Analysis of Impediments that largely follows the template for the AFH, or prepare an update of the grantee’s existing AI using its current format.
“No child’s zip code should determine her opportunity to achieve.“
– HUD’s Executive Summary of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Final Rule
Our fair housing planning services include assistance with:
- Developing or updating a written Citizen Participation Plan
- Consulting stakeholders with knowledge of local fair housing issues
- Developing online surveys for residents, lenders, real estate professionals, social service providers, and landlords and property mangers
- Facilitating citizen and stakeholder input meetings
- Analyzing and interpreting HUD-provided data and local data and knowledge
- Evaluating existing land use policies and practices
- Assessing the role of state and local housing programs, such as SHIP, in affirmatively furthering fair housing
- Identifying contributing factors to fair housing issues, and developing specific fair housing goals to address these factors
- Submitting a completed Assessment of Fair Housing document to HUD
- Revising an AFH based on feedback from HUD
- Assisting clients with forming a partnership with other local government entities to submit a joint AFH
Examples of fair housing plans prepared by the Florida Housing Coalition may be found at the link below:
For information on when your local government or PHA’s first Assessment of Fair Housing is due, click on the appropriate link below:
- If your community received more than $500,000 in CDBG funds in Fiscal Year 2015, view this website for guidance on the due date for your AFH
- If your community received $500,000 or less in CDBG funds in Fiscal Year 2015, view this website for guidance on the due date for your AFH. HUD recently extended the deadline for communities with ≤$500,000 in CDBG funds to submit their AFH documents.
The Florida Housing Coalition is currently providing consulting services for an Assessment of Fair Housing to be submitted jointly by the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and the Tampa Housing Authority. This joint AFH will serve as a national model for regional Assessments of Fair Housing around the nation. To view local media coverage of the public consultation efforts for this regional AFH, click on the links below:
To learn more about how the Florida Housing Coalition can help your community prepare an Assessment of Fair Housing or Analysis of Impediments, contact Kim Spence at 850.878.4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Source: Samantha Tan’s entry “Fair Housing for All, Big and Small!”
Photo courtesy: Fair Housing Council of Oregon