Spring 2024 Calendar

Upcoming events of interest to anyone focused on fair housing, housing and economic development, etc.

Intermountain Fair Housing Council: Fair Housing Basics and Hot Topics

  • April 2, 2024 – Meridian City Hall
  • 9:00 AM – 4PM MT 9am – 4pm MDT

IFHC will present fair housing basics and hot topics, along with trends under all protected classes—Equal Access and Bostock, VAWA/FHA Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Violence, and HUD’s New Reasonable Accommodation and Assistance Animal Technical Assistance Tools.

Register here

Intermountain Fair Housing Council Townhall Series: Tenant Advocacy

  • April 4, 2024 – Zoom
  • 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM MT

We are continuing our Townhall Series with a conversation between IFHC Community Engagement Specialist Sarah Jareczek and Author and Sociologist Leontina Hormel about Mobile Home Parks and tenant advocacy. This conversation will include a discussion about Hormel’s new book, Trailer Park America – Reimagining Working Class Communities. Order or download a copy to join in on the discussion!

Register here

Intermountain Fair Housing Council Homeownership Dream Series: Fair Lending

  • April 11, 2024 – Zoom
  • 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM MT

This event, the second to last installment of our Homeownership Dream Series, is all about Fair Lending! This webinar will include information about fair housing, fair lending issues to look out for in the home buying process, and how to get help if you experience fair housing issues or need best practice suggestions!

Register here


Idaho Housing and Finance Conference on Housing and Economic Development

  • April 22-23, 2024
  • Boise Centre

The premier regional conference for those interested and engaged in housing and economic development policy, planning and practices, including industry professionals, planners and policy makers, advocates, economic and community development practitioners,

General registration here

Two days of sessions on current focus areas, and several world-class keynote speakers:

Charles Marohn is the founder and president of Strong Towns. He is a civil engineer and a land use planner with decades of experience. Planetizen named him one of the most 10 influential urbanists of all time. Marohn is the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity and Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town. His latest book, Escaping the Housing Trap: The Strong Towns Response to the Housing Crisis comes out March 26, 2024.

LEARN MORE ABOUT STRONG TOWNS

Walter-Amy-HeadshotIn what will be another interesting election season, Amy Walter, the national editor of the Cook Political Report and a popular on-air political analyst, will be here to shed light on what to expect in 2024. For more than 25 years, Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective, and insightful political analyst with unparalleled access to campaign insiders and decision-makers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT AMY

Andrew Busch pictureAndrew Busch is the former 1st Chief Market Intelligence Officer for the US government and economic futurist. Andy provided economic and market briefings to White House, US House, US Senate, the SEC, the Federal Reserve Board and the US Treasury staff on a wide range of issues including interest rates, inflation, China’s influence on trade, and the impact of technology on the economy.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ANDREW

Gregg Colburn HeadshotGregg Colburn is an Associate Professor in the Runstad Department of Real Estate in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. He publishes research on topics related to housing and homelessness and is co-author of the book, Homelessness is a Housing Problem: How Structural Factors Explain U.S. Patterns (University of California Press). His research has been featured in leading media outlets, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Economist, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GREGG


Intermountain Fair Housing Council Fair Housing Basics: National Origin and Religion

  • April 25, 2024 – Zoom
  • 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM MT

This online training will discuss the legacy of the Fair Housing Act as we acknowledge the 56th anniversary of its passage, the basics of the Fair Housing Act, including the jurisdictional elements of a fair housing complaint and examples of discriminatory conduct by housing providers, as well as a closer look at the protected classes of Religion and National Origin – two of the original four protected classes in the FHA.

Register here

HUD’s Idaho Fair Housing and Virtual Training

Idaho Fair Housing Forum partners welcomed key personnel from HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office for a virtual FHEO training on Thursday, August 10, 2023. The event was well-attended, with over 230 Participants from Idaho and the surrounding regions. If a recording is made available, a link will be posted below.

Screen grab from a Microsoft Teams screen. In the top half of the screen a smiling woman wearing glasses is speaking. The lower section shows a man with short hair and glasses and is wearing a headset. To the right are small circles representing attendees.

Opening remarks by Lynn Grosso, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Brian Dale, PCED, HUD Field Office Director for Idaho

Agenda

  • Opening Remarks – Brian Dale, FOD; Barbara Lehman, Region X FHEO Director; Lynn Grosso, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement
  • HUD FHEO’s Intake Process – Michael Chen, HUD FHEO
  • HUD FHEO’s Investigation Process – Breanne Lee, HUD FHEO
  • HUD FHEO and VAWA/C Revs – James Kordich, HUD FHEO
  • Q & A – FHEO Staff Presenters
  • Closing Remarks – Lynn Grosso, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement (tentative), Barbara Lehman, Region X FHEO Director

Resources and links

AFFH Proposed Rule Published 2/9/23

HUD’s long-awaited Proposed Rule for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) was posted in the Federal Register February 9, 2023. This starts the clock ticking for the official 60-day Public Comment period that ends April 10, 2023.

To view the Proposed Rule, click here.

What is AFFH and what does the Proposed Rule mean? The AFFH provision was part of the original Fair Housing Act (FHA) of 1968, and its obligations extend to federal agencies administering housing and urban development programs. AFFH requires funding recipients to “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 classes.


Bipartisan Policy Center Deep Dive into the AFFH Proposed Rule


However, the federal government has long been criticized for failing to enforce FHA requirements or provide participants with meaningful guidance. This has allowed discriminatory practices and harm resulting from segregation, discrimination, and disinvestment based on protected class to persist in housing transactions, zoning laws and patterns of funding.

The broad, generational impacts of persistent and pervasive housing discrimination are clearly described in the short film ‘Segregated by Design.’ It contrasts de facto segregation—separation arising accidentally or through private discrimination—from de jure segregation, racially-explicit laws that keep people apart. AFFH represents our collective obligation to remedy or reverse the consequences of the resulting ‘unconstitutional residential landscape’ that has disadvantaged generations of people in protected classes.

The seven protected classes include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation per the Worden Memo)
  • Familial status (families with children under 18)
  • Disability

How AFFH relates to the FHA:

  • The FHA focuses on what is prohibited: discrimination in any housing transaction or “to make unavailable or deny” housing by any means.
  • AFFH is prescriptive; it requires federal funding recipients to take proactive and “meaningful actions” to address segregation and related barriers.

The AFFH Rule proposed in 2015 was meant to give teeth to the Fair Housing Act and address criticisms. To assist program participants, HUD created the AFFH-T, where the T refers to a customized Mapping Tool to streamline the data gathering and analysis process. The rule was subsequently rescinded in 2018, re-instated in 2021, and has undergone revisions in response to public comments. The updated AFFH provision introduces a modified version of the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) now referred to as an Equity Plan.

The Equity Plan—similar to the AFH or Analysis of Impediments (AI)—will be required every five years. Funding recipients with a current AI will have up to three years to begin work on their Equity Plan. With some variation based on the jurisdiction, the plan seeks to define and describe the following:

  • Demographics
  • Segregation and integration
  • Racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs)
  • Access to community assets
  • Access to affordable housing opportunities
  • Access to homeownership and economic opportunity
  • Policies and practices impacting fair housing

The planning process requires significant community engagement and an Equity Plan will be evaluated based on its ability to advance equity in housing, community development programs, and residents’ access to well-resourced areas, opportunity, and community assets.  Participants must identify and analyze fair housing data and issues, prioritize those issues, and commit to meaningful and measurable action to undertake fair housing goals.

Failure to take AFFH seriously to create or improve access to opportunities can result in additional HUD review, remediation, and in extreme cases, loss of federal funding. This ultimately harms local taxpayers, constituents and economies, and results in the loss of federal support for housing and community development (think rental assistance or housing development and support from Idaho Commerce) that benefits Idaho families, employers, businesses and communities.

Industry observations

In response to the previous administration’s move to rescind the AFFH, the CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) expressed concern in a July 27, 2020 statement: “At a moment in our country’s history where the need to dismantle structural racism and segregation is so clear and present, HUD’s decision to terminate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule represents a giant and shocking step backwards. Eliminating the AFFH rule will hurt not just renters by limiting where they can afford to live, but all of our communities and Americans who benefit from a fairer, more inclusive society.”

In a January 23rd statement from National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) President and CEO Diane Yentel, she makes clear that “…the 2015 AFFH regulation was an important step toward rectifying decades of racist housing policies that created today’s segregated neighborhoods and resulted in associated harm to children, families, and the country… More than ever, large-scale, sustained investments and anti-racist reforms are necessary to ensure that people with the lowest incomes have quality homes that are accessible and affordable in communities of their choice.”

The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) is also supportive of the new rule. On behalf of its members, the organization states that “…central to our overriding vision of an affordably housed nation is the goal of removing fair housing obstacles that impede anyone from accessing the affordable housing of their choice.

Additional reference materials

Language Access Plan and the AFHMP

Courtesy of Gary Hanes, founding member of the Idaho Fair Housing Forum and Managing Member of Gary E. Hanes & Associates, LLC

“HUD has recently issued information bearing on the Language Access Plan (LAP) and the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan (AFHMP) and how they relate to one another. In the attachment below, we explore this a little further in hopes that it will help assisted housing providers navigate between these two complementary plans and meet the language access obligations of both.”

LANGUAGE ACCESS PLAN AND THE AFFIRMATIVE FAIR HOUSING MARKETING PLAN