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Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity. September 4, 2014. Glenn Misner. FHEO.

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fair housing equal opportunity

Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity

  • September 4, 2014

Glenn Misner

slide2
FHEO
  • “The Georgia Department of Community Affairs is committed to providing all persons with equal access to its services, programs, activities, education and employment regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability or age.”

September 2014

slide3
FHEO

What is Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity?

  • Ensuring non-discriminatory treatment and equal access to all recipients of federal funds (including CDBG).
  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

September 2014

slide4
FHEO

Applicability

  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Public Facilities
  • Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Economic Development
  • Down-Payment Assistance
  • Section 8 Rental Assistance
  • Any activity receiving federal funds

September 2014

slide5
FHEO

Applicable Categories

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Familial Status
  • Disability Status
  • Age
  • Any other protected categories of persons

September 2014

slide6
FHEO

Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • Several Federal laws protect individuals from discrimination and apply to CDBG funded activities. These include:
    • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

    • Section 109 of the HCD Act of 1974, Title I - Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, and sex within Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs or activities.

September 2014

slide7
FHEO

Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act) prohibits discrimination in housing-related transactions on the above basis as well as familial status and disability.
  • Section 104(b)(2) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 – requires that each grantee certify that the grant will be administered in conformance with the Fair Housing Act and that the grantee will “affirmatively further fair housing” (AFFH).

September 2014

slide8
FHEO

Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended – prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) – Prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all services, programs and activities made available by State and local governments.

September 2014

slide9
FHEO

Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 – requires that buildings constructed or assisted with federal funds be accessible to and usable by handicapped persons.
  • Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 - requires that employment and other economic opportunities arising in connection with housing rehab, construction or other public construction projects shall be given to low- and very low-income persons, to greatest extent feasible (24 CFR Part 135 and 24 CFR 570.487).

September 2014

slide10
FHEO

Applicable Laws and Regulations

  • States and Local Governments receiving CDBG funds must certify that they will affirmatively further fair housing (24 CFR 570.487 and 24 CFR Part 91.325 (a)(1)).

September 2014

slide11
FHEO

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

No statutory definition but HUD requires a jurisdiction to:

  • Conduct analysis to identify impediments to fair housing choice
  • Take appropriate action to overcome impediments identified
  • Maintain records to reflect the analysis and actions taken

September 2014

slide12
FHEO

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

These objectives mean jurisdictions should take action to:

  • Analyze and eliminate housing discrimination
  • Promote fair housing choice for all persons
  • Provide opportunities for inclusive patterns of housing occupancy regardless of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability and national origin
  • Promote housing that is structurally accessible to, and useable by, all persons, particularly persons with disabilities
  • Foster compliance with the nondiscrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act

September 2014

slide13
FHEO

State Government Responsibilities

  • Identifying impediments to fair housing choice
  • Conducting fair housing planning
  • Taking actions to overcome the identified impediments
  • Maintaining records
  • Assuring that local governments comply with certifications.

September 2014

slide14
FHEO

What Has DCA Done to Enhance AFFH Efforts?

  • FHEO Audit
  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
    • Develop Department-wide Effective Communication Policy
      • Outlines DCA’s policies to ensure equal access to programs for:
        • Persons who are disabled
          • Provide Reasonable Accommodations
          • Appoint 504/ADA Coordinator
          • Complete “Self-Assessment”

September 2014

slide15
FHEO

What Has DCA Done to Enhance AFFH Efforts?

Develop Department-wide Effective Communication Policy (Cont.)

  • Outlined DCA’s policies to ensure equal access to programs for:
    • Persons who are disabled
      • Provide alternate formats (where feasible)
      • Enhance outreach efforts
      • Develop grievance procedures (internal and external)

September 2014

slide16
FHEO

What Has DCA Done to Enhance AFFH Efforts?

Develop Department-wide Effective Communication Policy (Cont.)

  • Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons
    • Develop a Language Access Plan (LAP)
      • Complete analysis to identify who may need assistance
        • 18 Georgia counties meet the DOJ threshold of 5% of population who speak a language at home other than English as their primary language and speak English “not well” or “not at all” (Spanish).

September 2014

slide17
FHEO

What Has DCA Done to Enhance AFFH Efforts?

Develop Department-wide Effective Communication Policy (Cont.)

Develop Department-wide Effective Communication Policy (Cont.)

  • Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons
    • Require that grantees in those 18 counties provide outreach and public notices in Spanish as well as English

September 2014

slide18
FHEO

Local Government Responsibilities

  • Develop proposed action to AFFH for state review and approval
  • Develop complaint procedure
  • Develop method for documenting efforts to promote and monitor activities
  • Other requirements may be imposed by state

September 2014

slide19
FHEO

What Can Local Governments do to Enhance AFFH Efforts?

  • Post Fair Housing posters/flyers in public places
  • Pass resolution supporting Fair Housing
  • Discuss Fair Housing at Public Hearings
  • Conduct a Public Information Campaign on Fair Housing
  • Advertising the availability of housing directly to populations “less likely to apply”
  • Outreach to advocacy groups
  • Train elected officials and staff on Fair Housing Laws and the complaint process

September 2014

slide20
FHEO

What Can Local Governments do to Enhance AFFH Efforts?

  • Identify/enlist organizations that provide housing services (housing counseling agencies, etc.)
  • Offer referral services to fair housing advocacy groups that conduct ordinance, regulatory and/or restrictive covenant reviews
  • Educate code enforcement staff on accessibility requirements for newly constructed facilities
  • Conduct/sponsor Fair Housing Seminars or other “Housing Fair” type activities

September 2014

slide21
FHEO

Complaints/Violations of FHEO

  • Any and all citizen complaints are reported to HUD Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity (FHEO) for investigation.
  • Additional information can be obtained in the CDBG Recipient Manual or at HUD www.hud.gov

September 2014

contact information
Contact Information

Pam Truitt, Grants Consultant

Phone: (404) 679-5240

E-Mail: pam.truitt@dca.ga.gov

Michael Casper, Compliance Manager

Phone: (404) 679-0594

E-Mail: michael.casper@dca.ga.gov

Steed Robinson, Office of Community Development Director

Phone: (404) 679-3168

E-Mail: steed.robinson@dca.ga.gov

Glenn Misner, Office of Field Services Director

Phone: 404-679-3138

E-Mail: glenn.misner@dca.ga.gov

September 2014