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Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing means creating ways to expand inclusion and diversify communities

The rules
Jurisdictions which receive Federal Funding (HOME, CDBG) have a duty to affirmatively further fair housing

Typical problems
  • Residency rules that disfavor protected classes from applying for programs
  • Zoning codes that disfavor development of affordable housing that would serve a protected class
  • Selective enforcement (Lakewood police)
  • NIMBY actions by local governments
The tools
inclusionary zoning

 Examples to avoid
PHA residency requirements
Justice and HUD settle with Joliet
This is an important case in the area of affirmatively furthering fair housing. Thanks to Joyce for sharing. HUD and City of Joliet settle discrimination claims. "The agreement, which was approved today by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, resolves the claims of the United States in two lawsuits in which the government contended that the city had discriminated against African Americans in violation of the Fair Housing Act when it attempted to condemn a federally subsidized affordable housing development. The development, known as Evergreen Terrace, contains 356 units of affordable housing that are currently operated by a private owner pursuant to a 20-year contract with HUD. The agreement ensures that, if the city acquires the property through condemnation or otherwise, any displaced resident will be able to remain in affordable housing in Joliet, and at least 115 low-income housing units will continue to be available for families at the property or, subject to HUD approval, elsewhere in Joliet." Read about it

Pretty scary in the suburbs of Cleveland...
On November 3, 2013, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on efforts by the First Suburbs Consortium to get access to the list of all tenants who are supported by Emerald Development & Econonic Network (EDEN) and living in the Inner ring suburbs of Cleveland. EDEN program participants typically have a disability or have some experience with homelessness. There is no good reason for the suburbs to collect this information. Both HUD and the County have said that EDEN should not give over these names. “It will only make it more difficult to convince landlords to accept vouchers from EDEN if they have to deal with government and potentially neighbors raising objections,” according to Brian Davis of the Northeast Ohio Coalition on theHomeless (NEOCH). The NEOCH organization urges rental rights and homeless advocates to sign up in opposition to this policy on Change.org. Brian says: “Please join this campaign. Housing advocates all need to stand with EDEN and the tenants of EDEN in opposition to this invasion of privacy by the suburban communities.” RHINO wonders if the First Suburbs didn't understand the implications of the Court of Appeals decision in the Lakewood Harassment case.  Is it a coincidence that the City of Lakewood is a member of the First Suburbs Consortium?  Maybe HUD should be thinking about an investigation of the city's obligation to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing?