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.
Implementing a Fair Housing Plan – How to Transform Fair Housing Goals into ActionFair Housing Planning Toolkit
Module 8 Objectives:
- Learn WHEN to Incorporate Fair Housing Goals into Subsequent Planning Processes
- Learn HOW to Maintain Records of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Actions and Activities related to Goals
- Learn WHEN to Evaluate and Revise Fair Housing Plans
Module 8 Content:
- Module 8.1: Introduction to Implementing a Fair Housing Plan
- Module 8.2: Incorporating Fair Housing Goals into Consolidated Plans and PHA Plans
- Module 8.3: Leveraging Fair Housing Planning in Other Planning Documents
- Module 8.4: Post-Fair Housing Plan Timelines for Evaluation, Integration and Updating
- Fair Housing Plan Coordinator
- Point of Contact for Consolidated Plan, if applicable
- Point of Contact for Public Housing Agency Plan, if applicable
- Point of Contact for Other Relevant Plans, if applicable
The Consolidated Plan is designed to help states and local jurisdictions assess their affordable housing and community development needs and market conditions, and make data-driven, place-based investment decisions. The consolidated planning process serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and community development priorities that align and focus funding from the CPD formula block grant programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Program, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program. The Consolidated Plan is carried out through Annual Action Plans, which provide a concise summary of the actions, activities, and the specific federal and non-federal resources that will be used each year to address the priority needs and specific goals identified by the Consolidated Plan. Grantees report on accomplishments and progress toward Consolidated Plan goals in the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). For more information visit: https://cpd.hud.gov/cpd-public/consolidated-plans
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
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.
The Public Housing Agency (PHA) Plan is a comprehensive guide to PHA policies, programs, operations, and strategies for meeting local housing needs and goals. There are two parts to the PHA Plan: the 5-Year Plan, which each PHA submits to HUD once every 5th PHA fiscal year, and the Annual Plan, which is submitted to HUD every year by non-qualified agencies. For more information visit: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/pha
We recommend that this Fair Housing Planning task should be completed after the Fair Housing Planning process and every 3-5 years consistent with a Program Participant’s Consolidated Planning or PHA Planning 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. 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.
- Fair Housing Planning should be used to inform other planning processes undertaken by Program Participants.
- Goals set in Fair Housing Plans should be incorporated into Entitlement Communities’ Consolidated Plans and Public Housing Agencies’ PHA Plans.
- Fair Housing Plans may also be incorporated into broader planning, such as a City’s Comprehensive Plans or Zoning and Land Use Planning.
Module 8.1: Introduction to Implementing a Fair Housing Plan
Once a Program Participant has conducted Fair Housing Planning and set fair housing goals, the Program Participant should move toward the implementation of those goals, which involves taking meaningful actions to affirmatively further fair housing. Program Participants that submit a Consolidated Plan should incorporate the goals set in the Fair Housing Plan into their Consolidated Plans, and PHAs should incorporate the goals set in the Fair Housing Plan into their PHA Plans. In addition to incorporating the fair housing goals into subsequent HUD planning processes, meaningful action should be taken that is designed to achieve a material positive change that affirmatively furthers fair housing.
HUD encourages Program Participants to collaborate on Fair Housing Planning. Specifically, a PHA that conducts and submits its own Fair Housing Plan is encouraged to coordinate with the local government responsible for preparing a Consolidated Plan, as well as states and other PHAs as relevant. Effective coordination may increase the likelihood that the local government’s Strategic Plan and Annual Action Plan will include actions needed to address the fair housing goals identified in the PHA’s Fair Housing Plan. Similarly, Consolidated Plan Program Participants are encouraged to coordinate with PHAs and states to address the fair housing goals identified in their Fair Housing Plan.
Program Participants are encouraged to update their Fair Housing Plans every 3-5 years consistent with their Consolidated Planning or PHA Planning cycle. Updates may include:
- Evaluating the completion of previous goals
- Updating data and evaluating the current fair housing landscape
- Revising previous goals and/or setting new goals based on that updated analysis
Module 8.2: Incorporating Goals from a Fair Housing Plan into Consolidated Plans and PHA Plans
The goals set in the Fair Housing Plan should be incorporated into subsequent Consolidated Plans and PHA Plans. This ensures that Consolidated Plans and PHA Plans reflect and implement the Program Participant’s fair housing priorities and goals in addition to other programmatic goals.
Consolidated Plan Program Participants
Program Participants that submit a Consolidated Plan should incorporate the fair housing goals identified in the Fair Housing Plan in both their Strategic Plan and Annual Action Plan. Program Participants should incorporate meaningful fair housing actions into subsequent plans:
- Consolidated Plans. Identify strategies to achieve the fair housing goals set in the Fair Housing Plan.
- Annual Action Plans. Commit to actions and allocating funds, as needed, to follow through on the strategies set in the Consolidated Plan in order to achieve fair housing goals set in the Fair Housing Plan.
- Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Reports (CAPER). This approach enables planned, measurable outcomes so as to allow for more efficient reporting of achievement and tracking in the CAPER.
Public Housing Agency Program Participants
PHAs should incorporate the fair housing priorities and goals identified in their Fair Housing Plan into their PHA Plans, including:
- 5-Year Plans. Identify strategies to achieve the fair housing goals set in the Fair Housing Plan.
- Annual Plans. Commit to actions and allocating funds, as needed, to follow through on the strategies set in the 5-Year Plan in order to achieve fair housing goals set in the Fair Housing Plan.
Outside of the Consolidated Plan or PHA Plan, Program Participants are encouraged to maintain thorough records of their efforts to affirmatively further fair housing. This documentation can help support Program Participants’ AFFH certifications under the Interim Final Rule and can also help Program Participants build upon their previous AFFH activities. Program Participants are encouraged to maintain records on the following:
- Information and records relating to the Program Participant’s Fair Housing Plan and any significant revisions to the Fair Housing Plan, including, but not limited to, statistical data, studies, diagnostic tools, policies, and procedures, or other documents relating to the preparation of the Fair Housing Plan.
- Records demonstrating Community Participation, including a list of the organizations involved in the development of the Fair Housing Plan, summaries or transcripts of public meeting or hearings, written public comments, public notices and other correspondence, distribution lists, surveys, and interviews, as applicable.
- Records demonstrating the actions the Program Participant has taken to affirmatively further fair housing, including activities carried out in furtherance of the goals set in the Fair Housing Plan and reporting in the Consolidated Plan and PHA Plan.
- Where courts or an agency of the United States government or of a state government has found that the Program Participant has violated any applicable nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirement or any applicable civil rights-related program requirement, documentation related to the underlying judicial or administrative finding and affirmative measures that the Program Participant has taken in response.
- Documentation relating to the Program Participant’s efforts to ensure that housing and community development activities (including those assisted under programs administered by HUD) are in compliance with applicable nondiscrimination and applicable civil rights-related program requirements.
- Any other evidence relied upon by the Program Participant to support its affirmatively furthering fair housing certification.
Module 8.3: Leveraging Fair Housing Planning in Other Planning Documents
To take meaningful action and achieve material positive change, Program Participants may broaden the impact and effectiveness of their Fair Housing Planning by seeking out opportunities to align their fair housing goals with other local, regional, or state planning documents and policy tools. The following other community planning processes may be beneficial to coordinate with Fair Housing Planning.
Local Comprehensive Plans
Many communities have comprehensive plans that guide their long-term growth, typically across several decades. Comprehensive plans, also known as master, general, vision, or town plans, are broad in scope and cover a wide range of issues that affect how a community grows, including land use, economic and community development, transportation, infrastructure, housing, municipal facilities, and the environment.
In contrast to comprehensive plans, area plans are narrow in scope and geographic reach, such as neighborhood or corridor plans. As with comprehensive plans, area plans can help shape the long-term development of housing, transportation, and businesses.
Zoning and Land Use Ordinances
A community’s zoning and land use ordinances, regulations, and processes play a critical role in determining the amount, type, and location of housing. Program Participants that identify provisions of zoning or land use ordinances, regulations, or processes that create, contribute to, perpetuate, or increase the severity of fair housing issues are encouraged to raise the issue with other staff and elected officials to begin the process of amending or rewriting the relevant ordinances, regulations, or processes. While exclusionary zoning polices can intentionally or unintentionally limit housing choice, inclusionary zoning policies can promote racial integration and equal access to opportunity by requiring a certain percent of housing units developed at an affordable price range.
State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs)
LIHTC is the principal method used to develop new affordable housing nationwide. LIHTC is administered through state housing finance agencies (which in some cases delegate authority to local housing finance agencies) that are allocated a portion of the total available credits. Annually, state and local administrators of LIHTC develop QAPs that determine how applications for LIHTCs will be prioritized. These plans affect the types and locations of affordable housing that will be financed through the tax credits. To the extent that the location of housing previously developed through LIHTC has contributed to a community’s fair housing issues – or new developments funded through LIHTC could help address a community’s existing fair housing issues – Program Participants are encouraged to meet with LIHTC administrators to ensure they consider the fair housing implications.
Local, Regional, and State Transportation Plans
To the extent that the Fair Housing Plan identifies issues related to public transportation, employment, and education access, Program Participants are encouraged to review local, regional, and state transportation plans to identify opportunities to align fair housing priorities and goals set in the Fair Housing Plan with planned transportation investments.
The location of proficient schools and the methods used for assigning students to those schools has critical implications for families’ housing choices and access to opportunity. In some communities, students are assigned to neighborhood schools, while others may offer families a choice of schools for children to attend. To the extent a Program Participant’s Fair Housing Plan identifies improving the performance of schools attended by members of protected classes under the Fair Housing Act as a fair housing issue, Program Participants are encouraged to consult with the leadership of local school systems to set appropriate goals to improve educational opportunity for all students, particularly those who are members of protected classes.
Emergency Preparedness Plans
State and local emergency management agencies plan to prevent, prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover from emergencies and disasters, working across all sectors of state, local, non-profit, and private industries. Emergency preparedness plans include efforts to rehabilitate or demolish structures and housing, and rebuild following disasters. Program Participants are encouraged to coordinate with emergency managers to ensure fair housing and civil rights are common goals.
Module 8.4: Post-Fair Housing Plan Timelines for Evaluation, Integration and Updating
After the Fair Housing Plan is complete, fair housing responsibilities do not end. Rather, following Fair Housing Planning, Program Participants enact their fair housing goals and take meaningful actions to affirmatively further fair housing. The process for Program Participants after a Fair Housing Plan is complete include the integration of the Fair Housing Plan into subsequent community plans, taking meaningful actions based on the goals set in the Fair Housing Plan, evaluating those goals and actions, and revising Fair Housing Plans every 3-5 years consistent with the Consolidated Plan or PHA Plan.
Integrate fair housing goals into Consolidated Plan/PHA Plan
Directly after Fair Housing Planning, but before the Consolidated Plan or PHA Plan is submitted to HUD
Take meaningful actions to affirmatively further fair housing based on the identified fair housing goals
After the Consolidated Plan or PHA Plan is approved and as the Plan is being enacted
Evaluate the efficacy of the fair housing goals and the corresponding actions taken
Throughout the Consolidating Planning or PHA Planning process and before the revised Fair Housing Plan is due
Revise the Fair Housing Plan
Every 3-5 year consistent with the Program Participant’s Consolidated Plan or PHA Plan cycle
HUD Support and Technical Assistance
The AFFH Interim Final Rule reinstated a voluntary process by which HUD will assist Program Participants in complying with their AFFH obligations. Program Participants may submit their Fair Housing Plan to the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) for feedback and other technical assistance. However, Program Participants are not required to do so. The decision to submit a Fair Housing Plan for FHEO review is purely voluntary and is only intended to serve as a mechanism for FHEO to provide Program Participants with guidance and support. AFFH questions, voluntary submissions, or requests for technical assistance can be sent to AFFH@hud.gov.
- Have you identified who to coordinate with on subsequent plans to incorporate goals set in the Fair Housing Plan?
- Have you incorporated goals set in the Fair Housing Plan into subsequent plans?
- Have you evaluated taking action on the goals set in the last Fair Housing Plan?
- Have you planned to update your Fair Housing Plan every 3-5 years consistent with the cycle of your subsequent HUD plan?
- Have you identified Key Players?
- Have you reviewed Key Definitions?
- Have you familiarized yourself with the Timeframes?
- Have you completed Module 8.1: Introduction to Implementing a Fair Housing Plan?
- Have you completed Module 8.2: Incorporating Fair Housing Goals into Consolidated Plans and PHA Plans?
- Have you completed Module 8.3: Leveraging Fair Housing Planning in Other Planning Documents?
- Have you completed Module 8.4: Post-Fair Housing Plan Timelines for Evaluation, Integration and Updating?
Conclusion to Fair Housing Planning Toolkit: Fair Housing Planning and Local Control
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. The Fair Housing Plan is intended to help inform and guide local decision making in addressing physical, social, and economic problems related to fair housing including, addressing patterns of segregation and promoting actions that lead to integration, as well as addressing disparities in access to opportunity based on characteristics protected under the Fair Housing Act.
HUD recognizes that local governments, PHAs, states, and insular areas have not only the responsibility to identify the nature and extent of barriers to fair housing but have local data and knowledge, including information gleaned through Community Participation, that are invaluable to setting fair housing goals. Local governments, PHAs, states, and insular areas can all be involved in Fair Housing Planning to ensure meaningful actions to fulfill the obligation to affirmatively further the policies of the Fair Housing Act. Fair Housing Planning can help ensure that persons are not denied equal opportunities in connection with housing because of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), familial status, or disability. Fair Housing Planning can also help drive meaningful actions that overcome patterns of segregation and the denial of access to opportunity that are part of this nation’s history. To be effective, Fair Housing Planning should tackle tough issues. Fair Housing Planning affects the community as a whole, so all people in the community should have the opportunity to be at the table and participate in making those decisions.
Ultimately, Fair Housing Planning seeks to advance equity, especially for those who have been historically underserved, marginalized, discriminated against, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality. Fair Housing Planning is designed to help Program Participants be better positioned to meet their obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. Program Participants should use data, which may include HUD-provided data, local data, and local knowledge. The data, analysis, and fair housing goals will vary depending on local circumstance. Therefore, the various strategies and policy options adopted by Program Participants to effectuate the goals set in their Fair Housing Plan will depend fundamentally on the local context and the particular circumstances.
This Toolkit places an emphasis on goalsetting in order to assist jurisdictions in developing “meaningful actions” by thoughtfully setting and prioritizing reasonable and manageable fair housing goals that aim to address and overcome fair housing issues in a community. Thoughtful fair housing goals should be incorporated into 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.