Why Economic Developers Hope That “Fair Housing Still Has a Chance Under Trump”

The most recent State of Idaho Assessment of Fair Housing takes an ‘Economic Opportunity Approach’ to what is traditionally perceived as a civil rights issue affecting minority populations and other protected classes. An excerpt follows:

“This study approaches the analysis of fair housing issues through an “opportunity lens.” This was done to:

  • Incorporate recent research that links long‐term economic gains of cities and states to advancing economic growth of residents,
  • Incorporate the latest legal developments around fair housing, and
  • Most importantly, identify where the Grantees can best intervene to improve the economic opportunities of residents and, ultimately the fiscal health, of non‐entitlement communities.”

In other words, the report shows that the overall economic health and stability of a city or state depend on the economic opportunities of all residents. When everyone can access safe, quality housing within their household budget and close to employment or other services, they have more time, energy and income to invest in neighborhoods and communities. At the same time, they are less dependent on public assistance or other social services.

Housing choice (the right to determine where we live and can afford) and stability are essential components in the development of social capital, sometimes defined as “the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.”

When individuals and families feel part of a neighborhood or community, they are better able to form trusting relationships and cultivate connections that can lead to opportunities—whether in employment, education, health care or personal growth and development. From the perspective of those who stress personal responsibility and self-reliance, housing choice (aka, ‘Fair Housing’) should be seen as the best investment, hands down.

For an informative and riveting history of the origin and reason for the Fair Housing Act, this 2015 podcast from This American Life and ProPublica is one of the best introductions around. For those short on time, Act Two is particularly fascinating.

The Slate article linked below contemplates the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing  (AFFH) rule and how it may fare moving forward under a new administration. The AFFH rule is intended to implement the core mission of the Fair Housing Act—to increase access to economic and social opportunities through something called housing choice. Where we live determines access to essential services and resources: clean air and water, healthy food, education, employment, police and fire protection, banking and lending, health care—even things like culture and recreation.

“An important rule, enacted late in the Obama administration, is just starting to knock down barriers in some of America’s most segregated places.”

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (or AFFH) rule, promulgated by President Barack Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2015, marked the first forward momentum for the Fair Housing Act in decades. The rule required jurisdictions that receive federal housing funding to not only document barriers to integration and opportunity, but to detail—and prioritize—policies to eradicate them.

Read more here: Fair Housing Still Has a Chance Under Trump

 

April 28 Idaho Fair Housing A to Z Workshop—Boise, ID

Free Fair Housing Workshop

This is FREE training hosted by the Idaho Fair Housing Forum. Consumers, housing providers, managers, realtors, lenders, housing advocates, government personnel and officials—anyone interested in learning about:

  • Fair Housing Act
  • Support Animals
  • Reasonable Accommodations
  • Limited English Proficiency Compliance
  • Best Practices for addressing Harassment and Hate
  • Criminal Background
  • Affordable Housing/NIMBYism
  • Occupancy Polices
  • Rules Regarding Children
  • Affirmative Marketing, and more

Learn about your rights and obligations, obtain helpful fair housing materials and resources, and avoid costly litigation! Presenters include Intermountain Fair Housing Council, Housing Provider Attorney David Penny and other community presenters. Times listed are Mountain Time.

Location. Boise City Hall/Council Chambers, 150 North Capitol Boulevard,  Boise, ID 83702

Time. Doors and on-site registration open at 7:30am MST; program begins at 8am MST

Parking is available at various locations downtown.

Registration. To register for on-site attendance in Boise on Friday April 28, click here.

Webcast. To follow via live webcast beginning at 8am MST,  click here.

*For more information contact Brian Dale at 208-334-1338 brian.dale@hud.gov or Zoe Ann Olson of the Intermountain Fair Housing Council at 208-383-0695 or zolson@ifhcidaho.org

Please note.  if your e-mail address is long, be sure to include your phone number with your registration so we can contact you with any updates.

Presentation materials. The following materials were provided by Intermountain Fair Housing Council:

*This is an area of confusion for some. See more information here.

Housing Toolbox for Western Policymakers (Mostly Idaho)

(Created for housing and community stakeholders by IHFA’s Housing Information Referral Center)

Expanding housing choices has benefits far beyond fair housing compliance; housing diversity is equally important for community and economic development strategies. Housing types and price points that reflect the needs and means of community residents support a more stable labor force and educational system, reduce social costs of poverty, and lead to economic prosperity.

Housing that is affordable to a range of incomes serves as a wage subsidy to local employers.

Housing can be made affordable either by increasing wages or reducing the net costs of housing, which are often influenced by transportation, energy, land, construction, regulatory and financing factors. In some rural Idaho communities, workers must often commute long distances to find housing within their budget, while the cost to heat or cool inefficient housing can exceed rent. So we created the ‘HUT (Housing + Utilities +Transportation) Index’ to hint at real-world cost considerations.

We hope to update and expand these resources to be more useful to local and state policy makers and housing stakeholders. This data can help inform a larger statewide housing needs assessment and resource allocation process. See also “What Every City and County Needs to Know’ for additional information from the 2011 Analysis of Impediments.

County data sets for demographics, poverty and housing/transportation cost burden.

Conducting a local housing needs assessment

U.S. housing market: impressions, impacts and implications

Housing Market Challenges

Affordability matters

Housing and Transportation: location-based costs

Tiny Houses and Personal Shelters: implications and opportunities for housing, planning and economic development professionals


NEW! 2017 Presentations

10/2017 Idaho Chapter/APA Conference Presentations

Ghost Cities

Sandpoint Short Term Rentals

Links to resources:

2017 NW Community Development Institute

Housing as a Second Language (2017 update)

Related stories and links

2017 Association of Idaho Cities Conference

Housing Markets: Essential Trends and Strategies


2016 Materials

10/2016 Idaho Chapter/APA Conference Presentations

Next Steps for Small-Footprint Housing

Resources

Communities for Life: Aging-in-Place

Resources

The Changing Face of Fair Housing: Assessment of Fair Housing

Resources

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (presentation by BBC Research and Consulting)


Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

2016 NW CDI Course—Third Year: Housing as a Second Language

Local Bus Panels, Videos Promote Fair Housing

The City of Boise Fair Housing Task Force and regional Forum partners are getting the word out about fair housing and the 2-1-1 referral option! Look for these bus panels and posters on bus benches around the valley, and help us spread the word about fair housing resources and protection!

2102 Ada Fair Housing boise 2015 N611 Ada close (1)N611 Ada Fair Housing

And remember to share the corresponding fair housing videos sponsored by Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA).