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.
Module 6 Objectives:
- Learn HOW to create a Fair Housing Plan
- Learn WHAT sequential steps should be taken in creating a Fair Housing Plan
- Learn HOW to present the relevant data and analysis that needs to be included in the actual plan document
- Learn WHAT the relevant sections might be included in a Fair Housing Plan
Module 6 Content:
- Fair Housing Plan Coordinator
- Relevant departments of the Program Participant's organization, such as:
- planning commissions
- economic development agencies
- offices that implement HUD programs such as CDBG, HOME, ESG, etc.
- Elected Officials who might need to approve Fair Housing Planning documents.
- A representative of the overall approval body should be designated as a subject matter expert for other elected officials who are a part of the approval process and participate in the actual drafting of the Fair Housing Plan
- Local Public Housing Agencies, including those entities that administer housing choice vouchers, and their resident advisory boards
- Regional Partners, including other jurisdictions or Public Housing Agencies
- General community members
- Local FHIP and FHAP agencies
- Data Analyst(s)
- Geographer, statistician, or other data professional, if available
- Local Universities
- Research Organizations
Please note that Program Participants that do not have data professionals on staff may also accomplish their data analysis with HUD-provided data tools, which were created to simplify data analysis for Fair Housing Planning, or by collaborating with data professionals at local universities, regional planning organizations, FHIPs/FHAPs, or others.
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 well-resourced 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 of a program participant's activities and programs relating to housing and urban development.” See also 24 CFR § 5.151
In order to achieve the purpose of Fair Housing Planning, it is important to take steps to involve members of the community, and particularly those who otherwise would not participate, beyond generalized outreach and participation. Community Participation elicits the participation of members of groups with characteristics protected by the Fair Housing Act, which are race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, and disability. Thus, Community Participation requires Program Participants to actively work to encourage participation of members of communities that have been historically underrepresented, underserved, or subject to discrimination. This may include (but is not limited to) communities of color; religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQIA+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; LEP individuals; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. Community Participation can be achieved by direct engagement with community members and community leaders, and by forging relationships with organizations that represent these communities. Program Participants can use Community Participation as a best practice to engage members of the public and elicit participation in the Fair Housing Planning process.
Federal nondiscrimination laws define a person with a disability to include any (1) individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) individual with a record of such impairment; or (3) individual who is regarded as having such an impairment. See also 24 CFR § 5.151 and FHEO’s Disability Page.
In Executive Order 13985 Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, equity is defined as “the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”
A fair housing goal is a goal identified through the analysis in the Fair Housing Plan, to overcome fair housing issues. Program Participants are responsible for taking meaningful actions to achieve each of the fair housing goals identified in their Fair Housing Plan. Meaningful actions are significant actions that are designed and can be reasonably expected to achieve a material positive change that affirmatively furthers fair housing by, for example, increasing fair housing choice or decreasing disparities in access to opportunity.
Fair Housing Planning is community planning consistent with the duty to affirmatively further fair housing, in which Program Participants analyze historic and current 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. See also 24 CFR § 5.152
A document that details a review and analysis of fair housing issues in a Program Participant’s jurisdiction or region, in the public and private sectors, resulting in goals that the Program Participant sets forth to achieve over the Program Participant’s coming planning cycle. Currently, under the IFR, a Fair Housing Plan can be an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI), an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH), or another form of Fair Housing Planning that incorporates elements from both.
A federal protection under the Fair Housing Act prohibiting housing discrimination against families with children under 18 years, persons who are pregnant or in the process of obtaining legal custody, or persons with written permission of the parent or legal guardian.
A condition within the Program Participant’s geographic area of analysis in which there is not a high concentration of persons of a particular race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, or having a disability or a type of disability in a particular geographic area when compared to a broader geographic area. See also 24 CFR § 5.151
Abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Plus.
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and in accordance with Supreme Court precedent in Lau v. Nichols, recipients of federal financial assistance are required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by LEP persons. In accordance with Executive Order 13166, the meaningful access requirement of the Title VI regulations and the four-factor analysis set forth in the Department of Justice (DOJ) LEP Guidance apply to the programs and activities of federal agencies, including HUD. See also FHEO’s Limited English Proficiency Page, and LEP.gov for more information.
Several federal laws require that private and federally-assisted housing be accessible to persons with disabilities. These laws and their implementing regulations set out the requirements for physical accessibility:
- Fair Housing Act
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Architectural Barriers Act (ABA)
Most entities are subject to more than one federal accessibility law and architectural standard in the operation of their housing services, programs, and activities. In addition, state and local laws may also apply and provide for greater protections. Entities must be aware of all applicable laws and ensure that they and any subrecipients comply with such laws. This may require applying multiple federal accessibility laws and architectural standards to ensure physical accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Additional state and local requirements may also apply. See also FHEO’s Physical Accessibility page for more information.
Principles, rules, and guidelines formulated or adopted by an organization to reach its long-term goals. Policies are guiding principles about how business should be conducted, and they generally outline standards of conduct, conformity with legal responsibilities and guidelines, and consistent ways of handling situations.
The way things are ordinarily done in a place of business. They may include formal procedures, but often they are the result of organizational culture and habits that have accumulated over time. They should be reviewed occasionally to determine whether they conform to the organization's mission, philosophy, policies, and formal procedures.
The specific methods employed to express policies in action in day-to-day operations of the organization. It is often suggested that procedures should be separate from policies, because procedures should be flexible and more easily changed than policies. However, policies and procedures should be consistent with each other.
A set of related measures or activities with a particular long-term aim. For example, the primary programs administered by HUD include:
- Mortgage and loan insurance through the Federal Housing Administration;
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to help communities with economic development, job opportunities and housing rehabilitation;
- HOME Investment Partnership Act block grants to develop and support affordable housing for low-income residents;
- Rental assistance in the form of Housing Choice Vouchers for low-income households;
- Public or subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families;
- Homeless assistance provided through local communities and faith-based and other nonprofit organizations;
- Fair housing public education and enforcement.
Protected Characteristics are race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, and disability. See also 24 CFR § 5.152
A R/ECAP is a geographic area with significant concentrations of poverty and concentrations of people of color (e.g., Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaska Native individuals, or other designations). To assist communities in identifying racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs), HUD has developed a census tract-based definition of R/ECAPs. The definition involves a racial/ethnic group concentration threshold and a poverty test. The racial/ethnic group concentration threshold is straightforward: R/ECAPs must have a non-White population of 50 percent or more. Regarding the poverty threshold, neighborhoods of “extreme poverty” are defined as census tracts with 40 percent or more of individuals living at or below the poverty line. Because overall poverty levels are substantially lower in many parts of the country, HUD supplements this with an alternate criterion. Thus, a neighborhood can be a R/ECAP if it has a poverty rate that exceeds 40 percent or is three or more times the average tract poverty rate for the metropolitan/micropolitan area, whichever threshold is lower. Census tracts with this extreme poverty that satisfy the racial/ethnic concentration threshold are deemed R/ECAPs. HUD’s data documentation notes, “While this definition of R/ECAP works well for tracts in CBSAs, places outside of these geographies are unlikely to have racial or ethnic group concentrations as high as 50 percent. In these areas, the racial/ethnic group concentration threshold is set at 20 percent.” See also 24 CFR § 5.151
Section 508 requires all electronic and information technology (also referred to as information and communication technology or ICT) that is developed, procured, maintained, or used by a federal agency to be accessible to people with disabilities. Examples of ICT include web sites, telephones, multimedia devices, and copiers. Access available to individuals with disabilities must be comparable to access available to others. Standards for Section 508 compliance are developed and maintained by the United States Access Board. See also 29 U.S.C. §794d, Section 508 at HUD, and Section508.gov for more information on the United States Access Board’s standards for 508 compliance.
Segregation is a condition within the Program Participant’s geographic area of analysis in which there is a high concentration of persons of a particular race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, or having a disability or a type of disability in a particular geographic area when compared to a broader geographic area. See also 24 CFR § 5.151
Significant disparities in access to opportunity are substantial and measurable differences in access to housing, health, educational, environmental, transportation, and other opportunities in a community based on protected class related to housing. See also 24 CFR § 5.151
Populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of ‘equity.’
We estimate that this Fair Housing Planning task should take approximately 30 business days.
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. The timeline provides information on how long an estimated planning task might take. The work that goes into Fair Housing Planning is scalable across Program Participants of various sizes, so 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.
After planning and conducting a fair housing data analysis and engaging the community, Program Participants should synthesize the data analysis into a comprehensive Fair Housing Plan that articulates fair housing issues and sets fair housing goals to overcome those issues (which will be discussed in more detail in Module 7).
Creating a Fair Housing Plan may take time as drafts are reviewed and new drafts are integrated based on engagement with community members, local organizations and universities, FHIPs and FHAPs, etc.
Module 6.1: Introduction to creating a Fair Housing Plan
At this point in the Fair Housing Planning process, Program Participants have gathered all the data and information that should be included in the Fair Housing Plan. Program Participants should now start to take all the data and accompanying analysis and organize the information in a way that presents the current fair housing landscape, including patterns of segregation and disparities in access to opportunity based on characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act, as well as the specific goals the Program Participant plans to take in order to improve fair housing conditions in the future.
To start, the Fair Housing Plan Coordinator should convene the key players to review all the data, analysis, and supporting documentation that have been produced as a part of the Fair Housing Planning process. After everyone has reviewed all the information, the overall process for drafting the Fair Housing Plan should be decided. At this point, it may be helpful to create an outline of what sections will be included in the Fair Housing Plan and assign panel members their roles in drafting this document. Remember, the following components should be included in a Fair Housing Plan.
An overall summary of the history of the jurisdiction and geographic region.
- This summary should provide a brief history of the jurisdiction and highlight any major events or historical trends that contribute to the housing conditions or trends today.
A description of the current demographics of the jurisdiction and region.
- This section should include discussion and analysis of population, geographic size and location in region, as well as data and statistics related to protected characteristics covered under the Fair Housing Act, including, race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, and disability.
- There should also be a discussion of any related data or statistics relevant to identifying fair housing issues. For example, this might include the number of LEP individuals, as these individuals are protected under the Fair Housing Act due to their national origin; the number of accessible units, as various civil rights laws stipulate housing accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities; or other relevant data and statistics.
A discussion of any patterns of segregation within the jurisdiction or region and whether there are any R/ECAPs.
This discussion should include:
- Identification of whether there are any R/ECAPs within the geographic boundaries of the jurisdiction and/or if there are any R/ECAPs in the region.
- Identification of any R/ECAPs learned from local data or knowledge that do not necessarily appear in HUD-provided data.
- An analysis of patterns of segregation and integration within the jurisdiction. This analysis should go beyond identifying patterns of segregation based on just race/ethnicity to include analysis of patterns of segregation or integration related to other protected characteristics including national origin (including LEP persons), religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, or disability.
A discussion and analysis on programs, polices, practices, and procedures that have fair housing implications or contribute to disparities that exist related to protected characteristics within the jurisdiction and region.
The Fair Housing Planning analysis of a Program Participant’s programs, policies, practices, and procedures from a fair housing perspective typically involves:
- A comprehensive review of a state, entitlement jurisdiction, or PHA’s laws, regulations, and administrative policies, procedures, and/or practices.
- An assessment of how those laws, regulations, and administrative policies, procedures, and/or practices affect patterns of segregation and disparities in access to opportunity. For example, how does zoning and land use or siting decisions affect the location, availability, and accessibility of affordable housing?
- An assessment of conditions, both public and private, affecting fair housing choice for all protected classes.
- Any actions, omissions, or decisions taken because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, or disability, which restrict housing choices or the availability of housing choices, or have the effect of restricting housing choices.
A discussion of the fair housing enforcement landscape within the jurisdiction.
This discussion and analysis should include how many fair housing complaints have been filed and how many compliance actions (such as HUD Letters of Findings, Voluntary Compliance Agreements, or DOJ Settlements) that have been taken over the past planning cycle. Each of these complaints and compliance actions should be broken down by type of complaint or compliance action. Here are some special considerations that are helpful to include in the Fair Housing Plan:
- Any steps that the jurisdiction has taken to educate both housing providers and staff as well as the community at large.
- If there have been any changes (recent or historical) in the type of fair housing complaints that have been filed.
- Any collaboration partnerships between the jurisdiction and local FHIPs/FHAPs or other fair housing agencies.
A discussion of any disparities in access to opportunity.
Is there equal access to opportunity or are there disparities in access to opportunity, including access to healthcare, education, employment, transportation, poverty exposure, food, and environmentally healthy neighborhoods, as well as any overarching patterns relating to access to opportunity in the region?
A discussion of current housing needs within the jurisdiction including:
- An analysis of the inventory of affordable housing in the area, including any current needs for more affordable housing development.
- What type of dwellings need to be developed? Is there a need for single-family homes or multi-family homes? Does the area need units of a smaller size (for example, studio and one-bedroom units) or does the area need units of a larger size?
- An analysis of the inventory of accessible units in the area, including any current needs for the development of more accessible units.
- A discussion and analysis of statistics on PHA housing units and housing programs, including the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. For example, discuss unit availability as compared to the waitlist, as well as an analysis of the numbers of resident applications and issued HCVs as compared to number of housing providers that accept HCVs. Additionally, assess the location of public housing units and HCVs in use in relation to patterns of segregation and access to opportunities.
- A discussion of past and current fair housing goals. An analysis of the status of completion of past fair housing goals, including an analysis of barriers to achieving previously set goals, should be discussed to help inform current goals. The Fair Housing Plan should also include goals that the Program Participant plans to achieve throughout the next Consolidated Plan or PHA Plan cycle. When setting goals, Program Participants should set thoughtful goals that lead to meaningful actions that will allow Program Participants to meet their AFFH obligation.
Once the Fair Housing Plan has been drafted, the key players should review and revise the Fair Housing Plan to ensure that each section has adequate data analysis and responds to local circumstances. After the first draft of the Fair Housing Plan is complete, the Fair Housing Plan Coordinator might find it helpful to share the document with other key players, such as community organizations, the local FHIP and FHAP, or elected officials, for feedback. Once a final draft is complete, the Fair Housing Plan should be sent off to the entity that gives the formal sign off. HUD is always available to review a Program Participant’s Fair Housing Plan and provide technical assistance to the Program Participant.
Module 6.2: How to Complete Fair Housing Planning
To fulfill their AFFH obligations, Program Participants should take 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, which are: race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status, and disability.
These meaningful actions, when taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replace segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transform racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into well-resourced areas of opportunity, and foster and maintain compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.
Preparing for the commencement of Fair Housing Planning
During the first stage, Program Participants may wish to designate a Fair Housing Plan Coordinator who will be the primary point of contact throughout the Fair Housing Planning process and will coordinate all components that go into a Fair Housing Plan. It is also during this stage that the jurisdiction determines what type of Fair Housing Plan it is going to produce (i.e., an AI, AFH, or some other type of fair housing document). It will also start to leverage local data analysts and will begin reaching out to community centers and leaders to assist in engaging the community during this process.
Fair Housing Data Gathering & Analyzing Programs, Policies, and Procedures that need to be included in a Fair Housing Plan
HUD Program Participants conduct Fair Housing Planning consistent with the duty to affirmatively further fair housing by analyzing the fair housing landscape in their jurisdiction.
It is important that the Fair Housing Planning team analyze programs, policies, practices, and procedures, as well as patterns in the private sector, to understand their impact on fair housing choice, and whether they affect patterns of segregation, disparities in access to opportunity, or have any implications on individuals with protected characteristics.
Solicit Community Participation and Feedback
During the early Fair Housing Planning stages, Fair Housing Planning teams should work to establish and build relationships with key stakeholders in the community, especially those that serve diverse and underserved individuals with protected characteristics. Jurisdictions should develop community feedback surveys as well.
- These relationships should be established early in the Fair Housing Planning process to ensure that all perspectives are brought to the table early on and maintained during the entirety of the planning process and beyond to establish a long-lasting relationship and continually receive feedback from community stakeholders.
- Jurisdictions should market Community Participation opportunities using a wide range of mediums like posters, print and digital newspaper ads, flyers, PSAs, radio ads, and social media in order to reach as many community members as possible.
- Jurisdictions should also ensure that Community Participation meetings are held at convenient times and locations, and offer in-person as well as virtual attendance options to ease the burden of attendance for community members who otherwise would find it difficult to participate.
- Jurisdictions must ensure that meetings are accessible to individuals with disabilities, ensuring that persons with mobility impairments can access a meeting location and utilizing effective communication to accommodate other types of disabilities.
- Jurisdictions should also provide language assistance to LEP individuals to ensure that all members of the community can understand the information presented and participate in the Fair Housing Planning process.
Fair Housing Data Analysis
The use of data and subsequent data analysis in a Fair Housing Plan is paramount when developing a Fair Housing Plan because the data use allows jurisdictions to establish baseline measures, which in turn helps to set informed goals that lead to meaningful action.
HUD offers its AFFH Data and Mapping Tool (AFFH-T) for Program Participants to use in Fair Housing Planning. HUD-provided data is not comprehensive, so jurisdictions should leverage local data as well as local knowledge to supplement their analyses.
Data that should be analyzed at this time include at the very least: population demographics, income and poverty including R/ECAPs, affordability, environmental health and hazards, transportation access, healthcare access, education access, and food access.
Fair Housing Planning should include a regional data analysis of fair housing issues since fair housing issues not only cross multiple sectors—including housing, education, transportation, and commercial and economic development—but are often not constrained by political or geographic boundaries. For example, one City may identify segregation as a fair housing issue because members of a particular racial or ethnic group live in only one part of the City. The City may identify the location and type of affordable housing as an issue because the only affordable housing in the jurisdiction and the region is located in that particular part of the City.
Developing Fair Housing Goals to Pursue During Next Planning Cycle
Program participants, consistent with their duty to affirmatively further fair housing should set locally determined fair housing goals to:
- Address inequities that exist in access to opportunity pertaining to individuals with protected characteristics;
- Promote integration and reduce segregation; and
- Transform racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into well-resourced areas of opportunity.
Fair housing goals are designed to address and overcome fair housing barriers or issues in a community. The fair housing goals set in the Fair Housing Plan should be incorporated into subsequent planning processes, including those to create Consolidated Plans and PHA plans, by including the strategies, actions, and any necessary funding to achieve those goals in other relevant planning documents. Fair housing goals should be measurable, tracked, and ultimately, should affirmatively further fair housing.
Fair housing goals should be SMARTer (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Bound, Evaluated, and Revised/Readjusted).
Preparing the Fair Housing Plan
Once a jurisdiction has gathered and analyzed the data, it should synthesize all of the findings into a Fair Housing Plan. The Fair Housing Plan should include:
- An analysis of the population demographics of the jurisdiction,
- An assessment of disparities in access to opportunity based on protected characteristics,
- An analysis of any patterns of segregation that exist, as well as analysis on any R/ECAPs that exist, and
- Fair Housing Goals that will lead to meaningful actions to affirmatively further fair housing.
Module 6.3: Flow chart from previous steps in Fair Housing Plan
1. Assemble a Fair Housing Planning Team
- Fair Housing Plan Coordinator or Point Person on overall plan
2. Gather Data
- Local FHIP/FHAP data/information
- Local universities
3. Community Participation
- Approach community leaders
- Build relationships with local organizations working with underserved communities
- Ensuring in-person and virtual meetings are accessible
- LEP person considerations
- Inclusive outreach strategies
- Patterns of segregation
- Types of dwellings
- Access to opportunity indicators
- Federal/subsidized housing
- How do current programs, policies, and procedures affect the fair housing landscape
- Balanced approach
- Complementary goals to solve fair housing issues identify during analysis
- Discussion of past goals
Module 6.4: Fact Sheet Conducting Fair Housing Planning
The analysis section of a Fair Housing Plan is what determines what goals the Program Participant should set in order to affirmatively further fair housing. A proper analysis will address all fair housing issues within a jurisdiction and will highlight what courses of action are necessary to overcome them, especially regarding disparities impacting residents with protected characteristics, which are race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, and disability. The fact sheet will assist the Program Participant in performing an analysis that reveals fair housing issues and drives goalsetting.
When conducting the data analysis in the Fair Housing Plan consider the following:
Analysis of fair housing issues should cover the following:
- The summary of current demographics.
- An analysis of current and former areas of segregation and/or integration.
- An analysis of R/ECAPs or similar areas.
- A summary of how regional policies, practices, or procedures affect fair housing issues.
- A discussion and analysis of disparities access to opportunity based on Fair Housing Act's protected characteristics.
- The fair housing enforcement infrastructure, such as FHIPs and FHAPs, in the jurisdiction and/or region.
- What the jurisdiction’s current housing needs are related to housing affordability.
- Disability and access analysis.
Analysis of Fair Housing Issues, and Policies, Practices, Procedures or Programs that Contribute to those Issues
The analysis in a Fair Housing Plan should identify fair housing issues and their causes, such as local or regional policies, practices, procedures, or programs that may affect patterns of segregation or disparities in access to opportunity. Each section should include the relevant data, the fair housing issues that need addressed as determined by the data, and the fair housing goals outlining the ways that the issue might be resolved. An analysis section should not just be presented as a chart or map within the document; there should also be a narrative text which explains the relationship between the data and identified fair housing issue. Similarly, identified fair housing issues should be presented with data that supports the issue. It is important that jurisdictions thoroughly examine and explain the root cause of fair housing issues in a jurisdiction and then use that analysis to create relevant and achievable fair housing goals.
Relationship Between Analysis and Goals
The goals should reflect the analysis and be crafted to address the identified fair housing issues. If the Program Participant has identified a fair housing issue, there should be a goal related to the issue. Similarly, if there are identified causes for these issues, they should be addressed in the goals as well.
For example, if a jurisdiction has identified that persons with disabilities are often discriminated against when applying for housing, there should be a corresponding goal that aims to address the identified issue, such as increasing education and outreach programs to raise awareness among housing providers and housing consumers that discrimination based on disability is prohibited under the Fair Housing Act, and about the obligations that housing providers have under the law.
Indicate Where More Data is Needed
The analysis section relies on the data that has been produced or discovered during the other sections of the Fair Housing Planning process. If that data is insufficient, the analysis will be as well. Difficulties in the analysis section may indicate that there were problems earlier in the process that need to be addressed. Beginning to think about the analysis early on may help remedy this problem without having to redo entire portions of the Fair Housing Planning process.
For example, a lack of data may indicate that publicly available data are insufficient, and that the Program Participant should find other local sources or conduct surveys on their own to supplement. It is important to look beyond the HUD-provided data and leverage local knowledge and data of the jurisdiction. Similarly, insufficient data could point to flawed Community Participation. Improper Community Participation can cause the Program Participant to have an imperfect understanding of the demographics and needs of the community, especially regarding their housing experiences. If the analysis uncovers issues with data, it may indicate that other portions of the Fair Housing Plan could be improved.
Avoid Unneeded Comparisons
When interpreting data for a Fair Housing Plan, Program Participants will often cross reference with neighboring jurisdictions, their region, or national benchmarks. This can be useful, but the Program Participant should be mindful not to focus too much on comparisons. Each Program Participant still has an affirmative duty to further fair housing. Program Participants should ensure that they are still doing their best to overcome any fair housing issues they identify within their own jurisdiction.
Consider Protected Classes and Intersectionality
Program Participants should analyze data by protected class (race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, and disability). Analysis should note any disparities that exist among protected classes within the jurisdiction. Additionally, there should be a discussion of intersectionality, meaning that if there are intersecting protected characteristics (e.g., a Black woman with disabilities) and there are increased disparities or multiple forms of discrimination (racism, sexism, ableism) that exist for those individuals, those disparities should be discussed and analyzed in the document as well.
Protected characteristics do not always need to be considered exclusively on their own. The way that they interact with each other, and housing, should be reflected in the analysis. For instance, the barriers to public transportation for individuals with disabilities may be better informed if that information is cross-referenced to determine how Black and brown persons with disabilities use public transportation. The graphs and tables presented should disaggregate the data as much as possible, to show where the intersections are, and how they affect relevant measures like segregation and disparities in access to opportunity.
An example of intersectional discrimination:
A housing provider denies a housing application of a same-sex couple, one of whom is disabled and uses a wheelchair. The housing provider’s practice is only to rent to straight couples, and the housing provider’s policy does not allow wheelchairs in the building because of the potential damage wheelchairs can cause to the walls and floors.
This is impermissible because under the Fair Housing Act, generally a housing provider cannot refuse to rent to an applicant(s) because of their actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. Likewise, a housing prover cannot refuse to rent to a person with an actual or perceived disability.
Module 6.5: Examples of Incomplete Fair Housing Analysis
Potential Fair Housing Issues to Address
Example of Incomplete Analysis in Fair Housing Plan
Patterns of Segregation
The 2020 Census counted 100,000 persons living within our jurisdiction. Here is the racial breakdown of our jurisdiction: 68% are non-Hispanic White, 21% are Hispanic or Latino, 4% are non-Hispanic Asian, 6% are non-Hispanic Black, 1% other.
From the 2010 Census to 2020, the jurisdiction’s total population grew by 10 percent. As part of this increase, the population of every major racial/ethnic group also increased, with the Hispanic/Latino population increasing the most from 10% to 21%. Of those Hispanic/Latino residents, 9% are limited English proficient.
The Program Participant provided demographic data related to race, but not other groups with characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act.
Additionally, the Program Participant did not provide any data or narrative on whether there are residential patterns of concentrations of residents with protected characteristics by assessing dot density and thematic maps to analyze geographic patterns of segregation or integration or R/ECAPs. For example, patterns of segregation or integration can occur based on national origin (including LEP persons), religion, or familial status.
Please note that local data and knowledge of neighborhood compositions which could indicate patterns of segregation or integration, may not be captured in the data provided by HUD. It is important to look beyond the HUD-provided data and leverage local knowledge and data of the jurisdiction. If there are areas within the jurisdiction that are predominately comprised of groups with characteristics protected by the Fair Housing Act, an analysis of those patterns of residency should be included.
Fair Housing Enforcement Infrastructure
We used a survey for community engagement. The residents believe that housing discrimination is an issue in our jurisdiction.
More information about how the Program Participant conducted Community Participation process should be detailed in the Fair Housing Plan. It is not enough to state that a survey was conducted, but the Fair Housing Plan should discuss how the Program Participant worked to reach residents with characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act, including people of color, persons with disabilities, and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality not only with a survey, but also through public meetings.
Noting that “residents believe that housing discrimination is an issue in our jurisdiction” is not specific enough. In this case, the Fair Housing Plan should note if the residents believe discrimination is because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, or disability.
The Program Participant is encouraged to use data reflecting the fair housing issues in the community, such as patterns of segregation or disparities in access to opportunity, to help facilitate conversations around fair housing issues and inform the Community Participation process. Here are some examples of questions analyzed to more completely address fair housing issues that were identified:
- How many individuals believe housing discrimination is an issue (percentage of people)
- What level of priority do individuals assign housing discrimination in needing to be addressed? (high, moderate, low)
- Including survey questions in conjunction with survey response data to provide background context.
- Whether the survey collected demographics of respondents.
Did individuals with any protected characteristics identify different housing issues than individuals without protected characteristics?
According to the HUD-provided data, our jurisdiction has no R/ECAPs. Because of this, we have not analyzed our census tracts for high rates of poverty and segregation.
HUD has provided maps and data on HUD defined R/ECAPs to help Program Participants understand the confluence of racial/ethnic segregation and concentrated poverty. However, a lack of HUD designated R/ECAPs does not mean that there are no areas of racial/ethnic segregation and concentrated poverty within the jurisdiction. As with the other HUD-provided data, the R/ECAP measures being provided are intended as a baseline for analysis that can be supplemented with local data and local knowledge. Similar to analyzing patterns of segregation, if there are no HUD identified R/ECAPs, the Program Participant should use local data and knowledge to assess if there are elevated and/or disproportionate concentrations of poverty within the geographic boundaries of its jurisdiction.
Fair Housing Enforcement Infrastructure
During our community engagement process, residents stated they believed that discrimination occurred in the jurisdiction, however we do not have any data concerning fair housing complaints in our jurisdiction.
The Fair Housing Plan does not provide data on the number of housing discrimination complaints filed, what types of complaints are filed, and the breakdown of basis of complaint in relation to each protected class. Fair housing complaint data can be easily obtained by contacting the local HUD field office, local non-profit fair housing agencies under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and/or Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP).
Zoning and Land Use Ordinances
Patterns of Segregation
Disparities in Access to opportunity
Zoning and land use ordinances, which prohibit the types of development in certain areas, hinder our ability to increase access to affordable housing and our ability to address patterns of segregation.
The Program Participant did not discuss what the specific zoning and land use ordinances prohibitions are and what specific barriers each ordinance pose to the development of affordable housing or perpetuate segregation. The Program Participant did not analyze zoning and land use and affordable housing, as well as their relationship to patterns of segregation in a manner that would enable it to address those issues.
The Program Participant should analyze how zoning and land use ordinances affect the location and development of affordable housing and patterns of segregation. For example, do the zoning and land use laws limit multi-family housing in certain areas or are there large lot size requirements that make the financing of publicly supported housing unaffordable and are there any demographic patterns of residency based on Fair Housing Act protected characteristics that result from these zoning and land use ordinances?
Disability and Access
Individuals with disabilities frequently face barriers to housing. We have looked extensively at whether public housing units within the jurisdiction are wheelchair-accessible, and it appears the housing agency meets physical accessibility requirements. However, we do not have data about accessibility in the private housing market.
Physical accessibility is just one factor that might pose barriers to housing for individuals with disabilities. In addition to physical accessibility, Program Participants should include analysis for other disabilities, such as visual disabilities, hearing disabilities, or cognitive impairments.
The Program Participant should also include accessibility data on private housing in the area beyond public housing. If accessibility data in the private market are not available for the jurisdiction, the Program Participant could consider collecting qualitative data from persons with mobility impairments or working with a local university or non-profit to conduct an accessibility survey.
The disability related analysis should also address other accessibility issues, such as disparities in access to opportunity. For example, a Program Participant might analyze whether there is adequate access to public transportation for persons with disabilities within the jurisdiction.
Access to Programs based on LEP
Our jurisdiction has not been able to analyze limited English proficiency, as the majority of our residents speak English.
Recipients of federal funds are required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to LEP persons. The Program Participant did not provide data on the number and percent of LEP individuals in its jurisdiction, including identifying their primary language. In addition, the Program Participant did not provide information on its resources or the services that it provides to LEP individuals, including translation services who are requesting assistance.
Publicly Supported Housing
Patterns of Segregation
Both Public Housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher holders are predominantly white, therefore patterns of segregation in publicly supported housing cannot be analyzed.
Segregation in publicly supported housing should be analyzed beyond the overall racial composition of the programs. A Program Participant’s analysis should extend to patterns related to the location of both public housing developments and HCV use, including whether the housing is located in segregated or integrated areas, in R/ECAPs, or in areas with disparities in access to opportunity.
The publicly supported housing analysis should occur both at the program- and development-level, including comparisons with the programs/developments and the overall population in the Program Participant’s geographic area.
The publicly supported housing analysis should also consider other subsidized housing programs, such as Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties, HUD multi-family properties, and USDA properties. Additionally, the publicly supported housing analysis should include not only an analysis of the jurisdiction, but the larger region, to put the local fair housing issues into context. For example, do neighboring PHAs serve different racial/ethnic groups? Collaboration with neighboring PHAs and expanding the service area could reduce regional patterns of segregation.
Disparities in Access to opportunity among individuals with protected characteristics
We believe we are doing well on access to opportunity issues as there have not been many complaints from individuals about school quality, public transportation, or environmental concerns.
Fair Housing Planning requires a data-driven analysis of disparities in access to opportunity, which may include access to education, employment, transportation, low poverty exposure, and environmentally healthy neighborhoods, as well as any overarching patterns relating to access to opportunity in the region. To do this, Program Participants should analyze how a person’s place of residence, locations of different opportunities, and related policies contribute to any disparities in access to opportunity for groups with characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act.
HUD has provided data on access to opportunity by race/ethnicity, national origin, and familial status groups. As with the other HUD-provided data, the data provided on disparities in access to opportunity are intended as a baseline for analysis that should be supplemented with local data and local knowledge.
Disparities in Publicly Supported Housing
The jurisdiction has analyzed the affordability of housing in all the census tracts, showing that the middle of the jurisdiction is much more affordable than the rest, which is reflected in several graphs.
The Program Participant did not analyze the location of affordable housing in relation to the residency patterns of groups with protected characteristics. While the Fair Housing Plan included information about demographics related to groups with protected characteristics, the Fair Housing Plan did not leverage this data in their analysis of housing affordability. All data points in the Fair Housing Plan should be assessed through a fair housing lens, which means understanding the data’s relationship to groups with characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act.
- Does your Fair Housing Plan include all the necessary components?
- Does the analysis address all the housing issues that were found during the data analysis part of Fair Housing Planning?
- Is all the analysis supported by data cited in the Fair Housing Plan?
- Are the fair housing goals SMART-er?
- Have you identified Key Players?
- Have you reviewed Key Definitions?
- Have you familiarized yourself with the Timeframes?
- Have you completed Module 6.1: Introduction to creating a Fair Housing Plan??
- Have you completed Module 6.2: How to Complete Fair Housing Planning?
- Have you completed Module 6.3: Flowchart on Steps of the Fair Housing Plan Process?
- Have you completed Module 6.4: Factsheet on Fair Housing Planning?
- Have you completed Module 6.5: Applied Examples of Fair Housing Analysis?