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AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING. Memphis Fair Housing Center – Memphis Area Legal Services Sapna V. Raj, Managing Attorney (901) 432-4663. Presentation Contents. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Impediments to AFFH in Memphis. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

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affirmatively furthering fair housing

AFFIRMATIVELYFURTHERING FAIR HOUSING

Memphis Fair Housing Center – Memphis Area Legal Services

Sapna V. Raj, Managing Attorney

(901) 432-4663

presentation contents
Presentation Contents
  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
  • Impediments to AFFH in Memphis
purpose of affh
Purpose of AFFH
  • Build “inclusive and sustainable” communities
  • Fair Housing Act requires HUD to “administer [housing] programs…in a manner affirmatively to furthering the policies of [the Fair Housing Act]”
fair housing act
Fair Housing Act

Civil Rights Act

Protected classes:

Race

Color

National origin

Religion

Sex

Familial status

Handicap (physical/mental disability)

who has to affh
Who has to AFFH?

Recipients of federal funds

Programs and activities relating to housing and urban development

Analysis of impediments extends to all public and privately funded housing and housing-related activities in grantee’s jurisdiction

affirmatively furthering fair housing affh
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)
  • Grantees required to:
    • Conduct analysis to identify history/impediments to fair housing
    • Take actions to overcome impediments identified
    • Maintain records of analysis and actions taken

24 C.F.R. §91.225,325,425

impediments
Impediments
  • Not only an issue of racial discrimination
  • Housing patterns are entwined with other issues:
    • Public transportation
    • Public education
    • Employment opportunities
    • Zoning, land use and development
    • Mortgage lending
    • Crime and domestic violence
fair housing planning
Fair Housing Planning
  • Conduct an Analysis of Impediments – list identifiable barriers
  • Develop an Action Plan of steps to address the impediments
  • Report the activities conducted during the action plan time period and the results of the activities
  • Evaluate – was it effective?
  • Adjust as needed
obligations of recipients of funding
Obligations of Recipients of Funding
  • Ensure sub-recipients comply with certifications that they are affirmatively furthering fair housing
  • Can require specific activities of sub-recipients to ensure they promote fair housing choices
  • Can have sub-recipients conduct their own AIs
recipients affh obligations
Recipients’ AFFH Obligations

Analysis of impediments involves an assessment of conditions - both public and private - affecting fair housing choice for all protected classes.

Impediments are actions, omissions or decisions which restrict housing choices or the availability of housing choices based on:

race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin

Includes policies, practices, or procedures that appear neutral on their face

affh activities
AFFH Activities
  • Translation of fair housing information
  • Providing translation services
  • Publications targeting members of the protected classes – e.g. non-English speaking, disabled, DV victims
  • Addressing clear and obvious segregation based on race or national origin (found to be core purpose of the AFFH requirement)
non affh activities
Non-AFFH Activities
  • Fair Housing Proclamation during Fair Housing Month
  • Poster contests
westchester false claims act case
Westchester False Claims Act Case
  • Westchester County, New York received $50 million in CDBG funds from 2000 to 2006
  • Sued for “falsely” certifying that it was meeting its obligations to affirmatively further fair housing (False Claims Act)
  • County failed to conduct a meaningful Analysis of Impediments
  • Focused instead on affordable housing, without regard to race. It never took actions to address its highly segregated housing patterns.
  • Treble damages – “relator” also entitled to damages
westchester county analysis of impediments ai
Westchester County Analysis of Impediments (AI)

County is part of one of the wealthiest and most racially segregated regions in the country

AIs did not identify any impediments on the basis of any protected class

No mention of housing discrimination or residential segregation

County did not identify or analyze community resistance (NIMBY) to integration on the basis of race and national origin as an impediment.

westchester county s defenses
Westchester County’s Defenses
  • Lack of vacant land
  • High cost of land precludes development of affordable housing
  • High construction costs
  • Lengthy review process
  • Limited interest by landlords and developers
  • Limited availability of funds
  • Local opposition - NIMBY
  • Discrimination is income based not racial
  • Race is not a critical impediment to fair housing
westchester had not
Westchester had not . . .
  • Analyzed effect of affordable housing that had been built on racial diversity and segregation
  • Recognized that race discrimination and segregation were impediments
  • Addressed how discrimination affected all the protected classes in the county
  • Found that any municipalities had failed to AFFH
  • Taken action if a municipality opposed AFFH
court affh obligations
Court - AFFH Obligations

AFFH means . . . to provide opportunities for inclusive patterns of housing occupancy regardless of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability and national origin

HUD Fair Housing Planning Guide at 1-3.

settlement
Settlement

$62,500,000

(includes attorney fees and “relator’s share”)

just build more affordable housing
Just Build More Affordable Housing?

Providing more affordable housing for a low income racial minority will improve the minority’s housing stock but may do little to change pattern of discrimination or segregation

Addressing that pattern - necessitate an analysis of where the additional housing is placed.

hud reviving affh enforcement
HUD Reviving AFFH Enforcement
  • HUD has increased emphasis on monitoring compliance related to affirmatively furthering fair housing
  • Increased staffing for enforcement
  • Developing new regulations
  • Revising planning guide & providing technical assistance to grantees