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This Toolkit does not reflect any decisions made in connection with HUD's February 9, 2023 notice of proposed rulemaking and only relates to voluntary fair housing planning conducted pursuant to HUD's June 10, 2021 Interim Final Rule and may be used to support a program participant's certification that they will affirmatively further fair housing.

Fair Housing Planning Toolkit

A How-To Guide for HUD Program Participants

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Fair Housing Planning seeks to eliminate segregation and promote integration, overcome disparities in access to opportunity, maintain compliance with fair housing and civil rights requirements, and address other barriers to fair housing choice based on characteristics protected by the Fair Housing Act, which includes:

  • Icon of check mark Race
  • Icon of check mark Color
  • Icon of check mark National Origin
  • Icon of check mark Religion
  • Icon of check mark Sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity)1
  • Icon of check mark Familial Status2
  • Icon of check mark Disability3

Background and Timeline

Since 1968, HUD has been under an obligation to affirmatively further fair housing in the programs it administers. This obligation applies to all HUD Program Participants. Fair Housing Planning helps HUD Program Participants support their AFFH certifications and regulatory requirements, and to take meaningful actions that will affirmatively further fair housing consistent with the Fair Housing Act mandate.

Fair Housing Planning is community planning consistent with the duty to affirmatively further fair housing, in which Program Participants analyze historic barriers to equal opportunity (the fair housing landscape) in their jurisdiction or service area and set goals to overcome those barriers and ensure fair housing choice for individuals with protected characteristics, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, and disability, within a community.

AFFH means taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics. Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws. The duty to affirmatively further fair housing extends to all Program Participant's activities and programs relating to housing and urban development.

This Toolkit emphasizes goalsetting to assist jurisdictions in overcoming fair housing issues in a community. Thoughtful fair housing goals should be incorporated into the subsequent community planning processes that will ultimately establish strategies, actions, and funding priorities. Thus, this Toolkit provides Program Participants with information to help think strategically about realistic goals that will achieve strong fair housing outcomes and, ultimately, affirmatively further fair housing.

The fundamental goal of the Toolkit is to support HUD Program Participants as they undertake Fair Housing Planning to affirmatively further fair housing. As HUD works to foster effective Fair Housing Planning, it recognizes that the people most knowledgeable about fair housing problems facing their communities are the people who live in those communities. Therefore, this Toolkit will help Program Participants engage community members and stakeholders to determine what barriers to fair housing remain in their jurisdiction or service area and create a plan to take meaningful actions to address those barriers.

Timeline for Fair Housing Planning

Program Participants should conduct Fair Housing Planning every 3-5 years consistent with the Consolidated Plan or Public Housing Agency (PHA) Plan cycle. The length of time Fair Housing Planning takes may vary based on the size of the Program Participant, the different types and amounts of resources available to them, or the number of barriers to fair housing choice that must be analyzed. However, HUD estimates that Fair Housing Planning will take no more than one year. The timeline provides information on how long an estimated planning task might take. These tasks can also occur concurrently. The work that goes into Fair Housing Planning is scalable across Program Participants of various sizes, including the data analysis, Community Participation, goalsetting, and other components of a Fair Housing Plan. While it can seem like a complex task, creating a Fair Housing Plan is a manageable task for Program Participants of all sizes and capacities.

List of Modules in Toolkit and the associated timeline for completion of each module, including the Fair Housing Planning tasks associated with each module:


Approximate Timeline

Module 1: The Fair Housing Act: Background for Fair Housing Planning

Approximately 10 business days

Module 2: Preparing for Fair Housing Planning and Data Analysis

Approximately 10 business days

Module 3: Analyzing Programs, Policies, Practices, and Procedures in a Fair Housing Plan

Approximately 15 business days

Module 4: Community Participation in Fair Housing Planning

Approximately 40 business days

Module 5: How to Conduct Fair Housing Planning Data Analysis?

Approximately 40 business days

Module 6: How to Create the Fair Housing Plan

Approximately 30 business days

Module 7: How to Set Fair Housing Goals and Ensure Meaningful Actions to AFFH?

Approximately 15 business days

Module 8: Implementing a Fair Housing Plan – How to Transform Fair Housing Goals into Action

After the Fair Housing Planning Process and every 3-5 years consistent with a Program Participant’s Consolidated Planning or PHA Planning cycle.

Please note: This Toolkit will be periodically updated by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) as new information and resources become available. Additional material will be added to all modules as available.

Fair Housing Planning Roadmap

1 Consistent with established practice, HUD interprets the term “sex” to include gender identity, sexual orientation, and nonconformance with gender stereotypes. See Memorandum from Damon Y. Smith, Principal Deputy General Counsel to Jeanine M. Worden, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, “Application to the Fair Housing Act of the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, GA” (Feb. 9, 2021), available at https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/ENF/documents/Bostock%20Legal%20Memorandum%2002-09-2021.pdf.

2 The term “familial status” is defined in the Fair Housing Act at 42 U.S.C. 3602(k). It includes one or more children who are under the age of 18 years being domiciled with a parent or guardian, the seeking of legal custody, or pregnancy.

3 Although the Fair Housing Act was amended in 1988 to extend civil rights protections to persons with “handicaps,” the term “disability” is more commonly used and accepted today to refer to an individual's physical or mental impairment that is protected under federal civil rights laws, the record of such an impairment, and being regarded as having such an impairment. For this reason, the Toolkit will use the term “disability.”