It is HUD's mission to promote non-discrimination and ensure fair and equal housing opportunities for all. In an ongoing effort to provide services and activities on a nondiscriminatory manner and to affirmatively further fair housing, HUD is charged by law to implement and enforce a wide array of civil rights laws, not only for members of the public in search of fair housing, but for HUD funded grant recipients as well. HUD is also charged with ensuring the successful operation of specific enforcement of housing programs. The array of laws, executive orders, regulations, etc. are collectively known as civil rights requirements and called "Civil Rights Related Program Requirements(CRRPRs)."
HUD-funded grant recipients are obligated under various laws not to discriminate in housing or services directly or indirectly on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, or disability. HUD rules further require that recipients of Federal financial assistance comply with civil rights-related program requirements (CRRPRs) that affect nearly every aspect of each program. HUD's non-discrimination requirements are compiled from several different federal laws designed to protect each individual's right to fair housing and equal opportunity.
III. Affirmative Strategies
A. Fair Housing Act
A strong commitment to affirmatively further fair housing is not only one of the Department's guiding principles, it is a requirement for participating in HUD's many housing and community development programs. The Fair Housing Act specifies that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall administer programs and activities relating to housing and urban development in a manner that affirmatively furthers the policies outlined in section 808 (e) 5. This responsibility is assigned to HUD funded recipients as well, through:
Some examples of ways to carry out these requirements include:
- Establishing fair housing enforcement organizations in areas where there are no such organizations;
- For public housing agencies, starting a counseling program to help
housing choice voucher recipients to find housing outside of minority
and/or poverty concentrated areas;
- Outreach to housing providers in non-minority and poverty concentrated areas;
- Marketing available housing to persons less likely to apply for housing in
a metropolitan statistical area;
- Encouraging banks and other lending organizations to operate in areas that are underserved and to provide services to underserved populations; and
- Encouraging banks and other lenders to use non-traditional methods for evaluating credit and loan amount terms, based on cultural differences and other individual factors.
B. Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended
The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, is the dominant statute for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. It requires that each federal grantee certify to HUD's satisfaction that (1) the awarded grant will be carried out and administered according to the Fair Housing Act, and (2) the grantee will work diligently to affirmatively further fair housing. This certification to HUD may be implemented through the Consolidated Plan process.
Under the Consolidated Plan, HUD funded recipients are required to: (1) examine and attempt to alleviate housing discrimination within their jurisdiction; (2) promote fair housing choice for all persons; (3) provide opportunities for all persons to reside in any given housing development, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin; (4) promote housing that is accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; (5) and comply with the non-discrimination requirements of the Fair Housing Act.
HUD encourages jurisdictions to consult with one another and initiate metropolitan wide area fair housing planning. The Fair Housing Planning Guide provides information to State, State funded, and Entitlement jurisdictions on how they may take steps to affirmatively further fair housing. Check out the Fair Housing Planning Guide to learn more about Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.
- Certification of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
State and Entitlement recipients are required to sign a certification to affirmatively further fair housing. As part of the jurisdiction's Consolidated Plan, these recipients are required to undertake fair housing planning. Fair Housing Planning consists of the following: (1) an Analysis of Impediments (AI) to fair housing choice; (2) actions to cover the effects of the identified impediments; and (3) maintenance of records to support the affirmatively furthering fair housing certification.
- Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI)
Analysis of Impediments (AI) is a review of impediments or barriers that affect the rights of fair housing choice. It covers public and private policies, practices, and procedures affecting housing choice. Impediments to fair housing choice are defined as any actions, omissions, or decisions that restrict, or have the effect of restricting, the availability of housing choices, based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. The AI serves as the basis for fair housing planning, provides essential information to policy makers, administrative staff, housing providers, lenders, and fair housing advocates, and assists in building public support for fair housing efforts. Conducting an analysis of impediments is a required component of certification and involves the following:
- An extensive review of a State or Entitlement jurisdiction's laws, regulations, and administrative policies, procedures, and practices;
- An assessment of how those laws affect the location, availability, and accessibility of housing;
- An evaluation of conditions, both public and private, affecting fair housing choice for all protected classes; and
- An assessment of the availability of affordable, accessible housing in a range of unit sizes.
On September 2, 2004, an Analysis of Impediments Memorandum was signed by the Assistant Secretaries for the Offices of Community Planning and Development and Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. This memorandum gives guidance to HUD field offices regarding the requirements of the Consolidated Plan to prepare an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice.
3. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in the Community Development Block Grant Program.
C. The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA)
The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 applies to public housing and public housing agency-administered (PHA) Housing Choice Voucher programs. The purpose of the QHWRA is to: (1) deregulate public housing agencies; (2) provide more flexible use of Federal assistance to PHAs; (3) open the door to mixed income communities; (4) decrease concentrations of poverty in public housing; (5) increase accountability and reward effective management of PHAs; (6) create incentives and economic opportunities for residents assisted by PHAs to work and become self-sufficient; (7) join the Section 8 voucher and certificate programs into a single program; (8) remedy the problems of troubled PHAs; and (9) replace or revitalize severely distressed public housing projects.
1. PHAs must certify to the affirmatively furthering fair housing requirements in their annual public housing agency plans (PHAPs). PHAs may conduct their own AIs or ensure their annual PHAPs are consistent with the applicable jurisdiction's Consolidated Plan and AIs.
2. Under 24 CFR 903.2(d)(1) and (2), PHAs must enforce their tenant selection and assignment plans in a nondiscriminatory manner and must take affirmative steps to reduce "racial and national origin concentrations."
3. According to 24 CFR 903.7(o), the civil rights certification says that the PHA must also certify that it will affirmatively further fair housing. This compliance is achieved by fulfilling the requirements of Sec. 903.2(b): (1) Examines its programs or proposed programs; (2) Identifies any impediments to fair housing choice within those programs; (3) Addresses those impediments in a reasonable fashion in view of the resources available; (4) Works with local jurisdictions to implement any of the jurisdiction's initiatives to affirmatively further fair housing that require PHA involvement; (5) and maintains records reflecting these analyses and actions.
Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan (AFHMP)
The AFHMP guides HUD's effort to ensure that prospective funding recipients will follow the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (section 24 CFR 200.600, Subpart M). This requires each applicant to develop, and put in place an affirmative program that will attract potential consumers or tenants of all minority and non-minority groups within the housing market, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or familial status. The purpose of such programs is to provide services designed to affirmatively further the fair housing objectives stated in Title VIII of the Fair Housing Act.
Each applicant is to pursue affirmative fair housing marketing policies by seeking out possible buyers and tenants, and advertising available housing properties. Examples of such action include:
- Advertising the availability of housing to the population that is less likely to apply, both minority and non-minority groups, through various forms of media (i.e. radio stations, posters, newspapers) within the marketing area;
- Educate persons within an organization about fair housing and their obligations to follow nondiscrimination laws; and
- Conduct outreach to advocacy groups (i.e. disability rights groups) on the availability of housing.
The Fair Housing Act requires HUD to develop voluntary programs to achieve fair housing goals. For example, HUD's Voluntary Affirmative Marketing program is designed to engage the private sector, including builders, developers, lenders, and the real estate industry, in national and local efforts to improve housing choice. Voluntary efforts include local agreements to further fair housing, the establishment of citizen Community Housing Resource Boards (CHRB) to maximize communication among racial and ethnic minorities, women, and the real estate industry, in connection with enforcement of the agreements.
Opportunity (Mobility) Counseling Program
The Opportunity Counseling Program, also known as Mobility Counseling Program, is designed to assist families with Housing Choice Vouchers (formally known as Section 8) to move from high-poverty to low-poverty neighborhoods. Public housing agencies, in partnership with local non-profit organizations, provide counseling services and conduct outreach to landlords. The five major objectives of this program are to:
- Expand landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program and increase the number and diversity of neighborhoods in which Housing Opportunity Voucher families live;
- Assist and encourage Housing Choice Voucher Program families to move to low poverty neighborhoods that offer quality housing, education, and employment opportunities;
- Address existing barriers to mobility and opportunity in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, including administrative barriers to portability;
- Promote greater cooperation and joint problem solving among Housing Choice Voucher Programs operating in a metropolitan housing market; and
- Create or strengthen institutions that administer the Housing Choice Voucher Program on a regional basis, including the provision of regional mobility counseling.
Most HUD programs provide for fair housing counseling for families displaced by grantee activities. The fair housing provisions of the Uniform Relocation Act (URA) states that "…a replacement dwelling is to be provided to a minority person in an area of non-minority concentration…the minority person must be given, if possible, referrals to comparable and suitable decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwellings not located in such areas." These requirements apply to Community Planning Development, Housing, and Public Housing programs.
D. Super Notice of Funding Availability (SuperNOFA)
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Requirements in the Super Notice of Funding Availability
HUD has developed requirements for the Department's annual Super Notice of Funding Availability to ensure that HUD and HUD-funded recipients work against discrimination, and toward affirmatively furthering fair housing.
HUD's SuperNOFA specifies the amount of funds available and the requirements for each grant within programs operated and administered by HUD. The General Section of the SuperNOFA provides application procedures and requirements relevant to all programs in the SuperNOFA. Applicants applying for HUD funding must affirmatively further fair housing, as well as meet required civil rights threshold requirements found in the general section of the SuperNOFA.